Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrelle Pryor

Willis/ShortsGetty Images, USA Today SportsPatrick Willis' 49ers meet Cecil Shorts' Jaguars in the second NFL game in London this season.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The San Francisco 49ers have righted the ship after a shaky start. The Jacksonville Jaguars are still sinking.

The teams going in opposite directions will meet Sunday in London's Wembley Stadium in the second of two NFL games being played in the United Kingdom this season.

The 49ers (5-2) have won four games in a row -- and scored at least 31 points in each of those games -- since starting the season 1-2. The Jaguars are 0-7 and are the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to lose their first seven games by double digits.

That makes Sunday's game look like a giant mismatch, yet the Jaguars were 28-point underdogs to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago but lost by only 16 points -- and trailed by just two at halftime.

ESPN.com Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco and 49ers reporter Bill Williamson break down the matchup:

DiRocco: The 49ers used the read-option the most they have all season against Tennessee in Week 7. Will that be a bigger part of the offense again as the season progresses?

Williamson: Mike, I think it is going to be a week-to-week situation. The 49ers used the read-option seven times last week after using it a total of nine in the first six games. The 49ers saw they could exploit Tennessee's defense using it. I think we will see it again, but probably in more challenging games and only in certain situations, when the 49ers are confident it will work. We could maybe see it some in London, but I have a feeling it will be more like the first six weeks of the season.

Mike, if the 49ers do run a lot of read-option offense, do you think the Jaguars can handle it?

DiRocco: Probably not. The Jaguars are last in the NFL in rushing defense (153.3 yards per game) and have given up a league-high nine rushing touchdowns. The defense's biggest problem against the rush is that it has given up a lot of explosive plays. Jacksonville has allowed an NFL-worst 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards. Stopping the read-option is assignment football and the Jaguars' ends have not been as disciplined as needed. For example, Oakland's Terrelle Pryor ran for 50 yards in Week 2, including a 27-yard run in which the entire defensive front bit on the inside fake.

Bill, the Jaguars have had trouble with tight ends all season and now they face Vernon Davis. Who is the last team that's shut him down how?

Williamson: Davis hurt his hamstring late in the Seattle game in Week 2. He was pretty well shut down in that game before getting hurt. He missed Week 3 against the Colts and then came back against the Rams. He's been good and he is healthy. If the Jaguars have trouble against tight ends, the 49ers will exploit it. Davis and quarterback Colin Kaepernick have a great chemistry going this season. The 49ers' coaching staff is great at exploiting weaknesses.

Mike, do you seeing this being a big problem for Jacksonville?

DiRocco: Absolutely. Tight ends have combined to catch 42 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns against Jacksonville this season. Depending on the defense called, the Jaguars will either have a safety or linebacker on the tight end. At times, the job has fallen to middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, who is very good against the run but not fast or quick enough in pass coverage. The Jaguars won't use the approach New England did against New Orleans standout Jimmy Graham -- the Patriots put their best corner, Aqib Talib, on him -- so I'd expect Davis to have chances to exploit some matchups with linebackers on Sunday.

Speaking of exploitation, the Anquan Boldin trade looked like a steal in Week 1. How is it regarded now?

Williamson: Still, unabashed thievery. Sure, Boldin had 13 catches in the first week and a combined 21 catches in the following six. But the 49ers would be in trouble without Boldin. He had three circus catches at Tennessee and he's been the team's only reliable wide receiver with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham out. The 49ers would not be 5-2 without Boldin.

Mike, do you think the Jaguars will keep him in check Sunday?

DiRocco: The Jaguars have done a solid job the past two weeks of playing umbrella coverage and making sure they don't give up deep throws. That does leave the short and intermediate routes open, though, and that's where Boldin thrives. He's a physical receiver and the Jaguars don't yet have the kind of personnel to match up with him. Coach Gus Bradley wants to build a secondary similar to the one he helped build in Seattle, which includes big, physical corners. The Jaguars still have work to do there, although rookie third-round pick Dwayne Gratz (5-foot-11, 201 pounds) is finally back from his high-ankle sprain.

.

Get to know the San Francisco 49ers

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
5:30
PM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Remember when everyone was asking what was wrong with the San Francisco 49ers?

It was exactly a month ago, after they lost 27-7 to the Indianapolis Colts at home and dropped to 1-2. They had scored a total of 10 points in back-to-back losses and were beaten by a combined margin of 46 points.

The answer, it turns out, was nothing.

The 49ers have won four consecutive games since then by an average of 20.3 points. They haven’t scored fewer than 31 points or given up more than 20 in any of those games, either.

Now they head to London as 17-point favorites over the winless Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on Fox.

Here’s a look at the 49ers:

Record: 5-2.

Last week: Beat Tennessee 31-17.

Coach: Jim Harbaugh, third season (32-11-1).

Offensive coordinator: Greg Roman.

Defensive coordinator: Vic Fangio.

Series record: Jaguars lead 2-1.

THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW ON OFFENSE

RB Frank Gore: He’s fourth in the NFL in rushing (547 yards) and tied for fifth with five rushing touchdowns. However, he tops the NFL with seven runs of 20 or more yards. Only two other people have more than four: Terrelle Pryor and Alfred Morris each have five.

TE Vernon Davis: Davis missed time with a hamstring injury but has still caught 26 passes for 466 yards and six touchdowns. He’s averaging a team-best 17.9 yards per reception, too, which shows just how much of a downfield threat he has been this season. He has eight catches of 20 or more yards, including a 64-yarder.

QB Colin Kaepernick: Kaepernick has unofficially been a quarterback for a full season, having started the 49ers’ last 17 games (including postseason). When he hasn’t played well, the 49ers haven’t won. He has eight touchdown passes and one interception in the five victories and no touchdown passes and four interceptions in the two losses.

THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW ON DEFENSE

LB NaVorro Bowman: He leads the team with 59 tackles and also has two sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He has been the 49ers’ most consistent defensive player this season, especially with defensive end Aldon Smith out and linebacker Patrick Willis also missing time with an injury.

LB Patrick Willis: He’s a turnover-causing machine, having forced 15 fumbles and intercepting seven passes in his career.

S Eric Reid: Reid is one of the candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The No. 18 overall selection has knocked down five passes and intercepted three.

ETC.

Defensive tackle Lawrence Okoye, who is out for the season with a knee injury, is the British record holder in the discus and represented the United Kingdom in the 2012 summer Olympics. ... San Francisco has forced 12 turnovers during its four-game winning streak and has scored points off each one: eight touchdowns and four field goals. ... Kaepernick had a total QBR of 99.0 against Tennessee last Sunday. That’s one point shy of a perfect rating and the highest mark by any quarterback this season. ... The 49ers and Jaguars haven’t played since 2009, which was the 49ers’ lone victory in the series (20-3 in Candlestick Park). ... The team flew directly to London immediately after their victory over Tennessee in Nashville.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Finding the Jaguars’ top 10 playmakers this week is easier than it was last week -- but not by much.

The Jaguars lost 19-9 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, but it was a better performance than the season-opening loss to Kansas City. The Jaguars scored a touchdown, for one. And quarterback Chad Henne put up some decent numbers.

Remember, this isn’t a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.

Here we go, with last week’s rankings in parenthesis:

1. WR Cecil Shorts (NR): He tied his career high with eight catches and his 93 yards receiving was the fifth-highest total of his career and the second-most receiving yards he’s had on the road. He was targeted 14 times and is the Jaguars’ top playmaker right now.

2. QB Chad Henne (NR): Yes, 142 of his 241 yards passing came in the fourth quarter with the Raiders comfortably ahead and playing softer coverages. But Henne did lead the Jaguars to their first touchdown of the season and he didn’t turn the ball over. That’s a marked improvement from Blaine Gabbert’s performance in Week 1.

3. WR Ace Sanders (NR): The Jaguars have needed him to make an impact on offense and he finally did with five catches for 64 yards. Again, most of his work came in the fourth quarter (three catches for 59 yards), but he made a key 30-yard catch on a third-and-21 play that kept alive the Jaguars’ only touchdown drive of the season.

4. LB Paul Posluszny (3): He probably would have been higher had the Jaguars not given up 226 yards rushing, including four runs of 27 or more yards. But he did make nine tackles, had one of the team’s three sacks and broke up one pass.

5. P Bryan Anger (2): Dropping three spots is what happens when you punt only eight times for a 43.6 yard average (39.5 net). Joking, obviously, but Anger continues to be a field-position weapon for a team that struggles to consistently move the ball. Plus, he made a nice tackle on the sideline on Phillip Adams.

6. LB Geno Hayes (NR): He led the team with 10 tackles, including one on a third-down screen pass to Rashad Jennings. He did miss an assignment on Terrelle Pryor’s 27-yard run in the second quarter but it was an overall solid performance.

7. S Johnathan Cyprien (7): He’s still not completely sure what he’s doing and he gets out of position sometimes, but boy is he a physical player. He made eight tackles and forced Darren McFadden to fumble. The Jaguars turned that into the team’s only touchdown of the season.

8. CB Alan Ball (NR): He fought through a groin injury that he suffered in practice on Thursday and played solid football. His status wasn’t determined until an hour or so before the game began and he finished with seven tackles.

9. TE Clay Harbor (NR): Gotta have him on the list after he scores the team’s only touchdown of the season. He caught three passes for 34 yards.

10. WR Stephen Burton (9): He did a solid job as a kickoff returner (24.7-yard average on three returns and he ranks 19th through two weeks) and was a part of the passing game for the first time this season. He caught two passes for 23 yards. He also got one carry on an end-around but it went for a 9-yard loss because fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou couldn’t hold his block on defensive end Lamarr Houston.

Upon Further Review: Jaguars Week 2

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
11:00
AM ET
An examination of four hot issues from the Jacksonville Jaguars' 19-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders:

Defensive pressure: This isn’t about the team’s pass rush. It’s about the pressure the defense is under to keep the team in games. Until the offense gets healthy and receiver Justin Blackmon returns, the Jaguars are going to struggle to move the ball with any consistency. That means the defense has no margin for error. The unit can’t commit penalties that result in first downs. It can’t blow a coverage and give up a big play down the field. It has to play nearly flawless football, which is tough for even elite defenses. The Jaguars were unable to do that against the Raiders, mainly in the running game. Darren McFadden rushed for 129 yards, and three players had runs of at least 27 yards. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was able to get loose a few times, and his biggest gain of 27 yards came when defensive end Jason Babin got caught inside. This is an unfair burden for the defense to carry every week, and there’s no guarantee it won’t have to do it even when the offense is at full strength.

[+] EnlargeMaurice Jones-Drew
AP Photo/Ben MargotRunning back Maurice Jones-Drew is off to a slow start for the Jaguars this season.
Concern about MJD: Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a left ankle sprain in the second quarter and did not return to the game. But he didn’t look great before his injury. Some of it was due to the Raiders keying on stopping the run, but Jones-Drew doesn’t look like the same player who led the league in rushing in 2011. He is coming off a foot injury that cost him the final 10 games of the 2012 season, but he has said he’s completely healthy. He just doesn’t seem to have the same burst. Jones-Drew has rushed for only 72 yards on 25 carries, and his 2.9 yards per carry is well below his career average of 4.6. The offensive line hasn’t played great, especially up the middle, so that’s a factor as well.

No Ace in the hole: The Jaguars drafted Ace Sanders to be the team’s punt returner, but he hasn’t fielded one in the first two regular-season games. Instead, it has been cornerback Will Blackmon. The reasoning for the first week was that Sanders was playing so much on offense that they didn’t want to burden him with return duties. But Blackmon started against the Raiders in place of Dwayne Gratz (high ankle sprain) and still went back to return all four of the Raiders’ punts. Sanders finally made an impact on offense (five catches for 64 yards, including a 30-yard reception) but the team obviously feels better with the experienced Blackmon as the returner.

Uneasy Joeckel: No. 2 overall draft pick Luke Joeckel had trouble for the second consecutive week. He committed two false-start penalties on the Jaguars’ lone touchdown drive in the fourth, and just doesn’t look comfortable. Twice he appeared to miss assignments on blitzes. It’s not easy playing tackle in the NFL, but the expectations are high for the player many thought would be the No. 1 overall pick.

Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 2

September, 13, 2013
9/13/13
3:30
PM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit, as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.

QB Chad Henne: Henne gets the start in place of Blaine Gabbert (hand), but he’ll be battling the same issues that Gabbert did last week: A questionable offensive line and a lack of experienced pass catchers-other than Cecil Shorts. Verdict: Keep him on your bench.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He ran for 45 yards on 15 carries last week and should be an even bigger part of the game plan against the Raiders. He has played well on the West Coast, rushing for a total of 146 yards in four games. His best performance was 75 yards on 15 carries. Verdict: Use him as your flex player.

WR Cecil Shorts: He has been battling a groin injury this week, but is listed as probable. He’s drawing most of the attention from the opposing secondary because of the Jaguars’ lack of playmakers with Justin Blackmon (suspension) unavailable. He didn’t catch his first pass last week until the fourth quarter. Verdict: Put him on the bench.

TE Marcedes Lewis: He is doubtful with a calf injury, although he said this week the injury is progressively getting better. Verdict: It’s too big of a risk to play him.

K Josh Scobee: Scobee has been practicing kicking off the infield at a nearby baseball stadium to prepare for the field conditions at O.co Coliseum. The offense, however, has to play much better than it did last week to get him in position to take advantage of that extra work. Verdict: Too much uncertainty with the offense means you should keep him on your bench.

Defense/special teams: After a shaky start, the Jaguars' defense did settle down against Kansas City last week. But it’ll be facing Terrelle Pryor, who ran for 112 yards and threw for 217 yards last week, and the pass rush is struggling. Plus, the unit might be down both starting cornerbacks. Coverage units have been hit and miss, but there is a possibility for a big play if Ace Sanders gets a chance to return punts. Verdict: Not a good matchup, so put them on the bench.

Oakland

QB Terrelle Pryor: He accounted for 329 yards of total offense and one touchdown last week against Indianapolis, but a lot of those rushing yards came because he was running for his life. He’s not an accomplished passer, but he can make plays with his feet. Verdict: If you’re in a league that allows you to play two quarterbacks, it wouldn’t be a crazy move to play him as the No. 2. Otherwise, probably better off waiting another week or two to see if he can show any consistency.

RB Darren McFadden: It’s Week 2 and he’s healthy, so that’s a good thing for McFadden, who has missed 23 games in his career. He ran for 48 yards on 17 carries last week, but has traditionally had success against the Jaguars: 176 yards on 35 carries. Verdict: Play him as your No. 3 back while he’s healthy.

WR Rod Streater: He caught five passes for 70 yards last week and is likely to end up as Pryor’s favorite receiver because the two worked out together throughout the offseason. Verdict: Right now he’s at best a No. 3 receiver in 10- or 12-team leagues.

WR Denarius Moore: He also caught five passes last week, but for only 43 yards. Verdict: Put him in the same category as Streater.

K Sebastian Janikowski: He should be good for a couple of long field goals. That’s pretty much a given with him, right? Verdict: Start him.

Defense/special teams: The defense is nowhere near as good as Kansas City’s defense, but consider what it’s facing: an offense without its best receiver, starting quarterback, and potentially the starting tight end, and an offensive line that has two banged-up guards. Verdict: A safe play.
Terrelle Pryor, Maurice Jones-DrewAP Photo Terrelle Pryor and Maurice Jones-Drew are key players to watch in the Raiders-Jaguars game.

Oakland showed a flash of life in a 21-17 loss at Indianapolis last week and Jacksonville struggled mightily in a 28-2 home loss to Kansas City. Many see the Raiders and Jaguars as the two most downtrodden teams in the NFL, but somebody has to win, right? It’s not like they can play to a scoreless tie, unless … in any event, these two hook up Sunday in Oakland.

Paul Gutierrez: So, the Jaguars are the 32nd-ranked team in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings, and the Raiders are 31st. Not exactly a clash of the titans, but there were several silver (and black?) linings in Oakland’s 21-17 loss in Indianapolis last week. Primarily, the play of newly anointed starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor. To a man, the Raiders said there is no such thing as a moral victory. Yet there was a feeling of promise in the Raiders’ postgame locker room not felt in a while. What was the feeling like in the Jags’ locker room after they not only lost their starting quarterback, but lost the game to Kansas City in such dispiriting fashion, and does it already feel like another long season is in store in Jacksonville?

Michael DiRocco: Disappointment, but not just at losing. The offense played poorly in all phases, which was somewhat surprising because it had shown signs during the preseason of being competent. Most troubling was the play of the offensive line, especially the interior, where center Brad Meester and guards Uche Nwaneri and Will Rackley really struggled. Six sacks and not crossing midfield until the fourth quarter was embarrassing. But the Jaguars were missing starting receiver Justin Blackmon (suspension) and starting tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), so that mitigates things somewhat. While the team believes it can certainly play significantly better than that, the veterans are realistic and understand that this is one of the youngest teams in the NFL and the new regime has begun a rebuild that will take three years. You've got to feel for Matt Flynn. Goes to Seattle and gets beat out by Russell Wilson. Then ends up in Oakland and gets beat out by Pryor, who played well in the season opener. He made a lot of plays with his feet but certainly has a way to go as a passer. Is he the long-term answer for the Raiders at quarterback or will we see Flynn at some point this season?

Gutierrez: Yeah, the humanistic side has to feel for Flynn’s predicament. Then the snarky side comes out and thinks he and his millions -- remember, he signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract extension with $6.5 million guaranteed after the Raiders traded for him this spring -- will be just fine, thank you very much. But your point is taken. Especially since Flynn was second-year general manager Reggie McKenzie’s handpicked choice to be this rebuilding franchise’s, ahem, franchise quarterback. And really, the case can be made that Flynn is a better prototypical NFL quarterback than Pryor. But that’s with a solid offensive line and a strong running game and trusted receivers. The Raiders, really, are still looking for those things. So until that trifecta comes in for Oakland, the playmaking Pryor is the Raiders’ best hope for winning games. Even if he was not the new regime’s choice and it inherited Al Davis’ last draft pick. At this point, it seems Flynn is destined to be a career backup, albeit a well-compensated backup. And speaking of clipboard holders, what’s taking the Jags so long to ink Jacksonville’s favorite son, Tim Tebow (you knew there’d be a Tebow question somewhere, right?), especially with ticket sales needed and Chad Henne being no Blaine Gabbert, and vice-versa? Or is it too soon?

DiRocco: The Tebow ship has sailed for the Jaguars. General manager Dave Caldwell said earlier this year that the Jaguars were not going to sign Tebow -- who at the time was still under contract with the New York Jets -- "even if he's released." He's sticking to that. As for the ticket sales argument, there's no way to quantify whether sales would increase and by how much if he was signed. Plus, the Jags are actually doing pretty well in the ticket department. The team hasn't had a blackout since 2009 and averaged at least 62,331 fans at every home game over the past three seasons. The No. 1 task for the new regime is to find out whether Gabbert can be a franchise quarterback and the player around which to build the team over the next decade. The only way to determine that is for him to play the entire season. Barring a rash of injuries to free-agent quarterbacks, I just don't see a scenario in which Tebow returns to his hometown. Sebastian Janikowski, who went to nearby Florida State, is one of the more colorful players in the NFL. There are a lot of colorful stories floating around about him both in the locker room and off the field. What's your favorite -- at least among the verified ones you can tell?

Gutierrez: Wow, you caught me off guard. This is, after all, a family website, no? I kid. Kinda. But yeah, the evolution of the wild child formerly known as Jano (he hates that name, by the way) has been a unique experience. He is now a doting father to twin girls. No word, though, on how strong their kicking legs are yet. Off the field, he’s become a proficient golfer. When he arrived in Oakland as a first-round draft pick way back in 2000, he had never touched a club before in his life. Then Shane Lechler, his long-time running, er, kicking mate, introduced him to the links. Now? He’s a regular in the Lake Tahoe Pro-Am. Then there was the time he had to punt for an injured Lechler against Kansas City in the rain. It was as ugly a punt as it was effective -- the Chiefs player fumbled the ball away and the Raiders recovered. It went down in Oakland and the crowd loved it. Speaking of guys known by one name or simple initials, how much does MJD have left in the tank for the Jags? Can a return “home” this weekend rejuvenate him?

DiRocco: That is a good question, because there is some uncertainty regarding whether MJD can again reach the level at which he played in 2011, when he led the NFL in rushing. He did miss 10 games last season with a foot injury. Nobody expects him to rush for 1,600 yards but he does need to be a 1,000-yard rusher for this offense to be effective and help take a load off Gabbert/Henne. Another thing to consider is that Jones-Drew is in the final year of his contract. He'll need prove that at 28 he's still one of the league's better backs in order to have a chance to sign the kind of deal he wants -- whether it's in Jacksonville or elsewhere. Speaking of running backs coming off an injury, hasn't that been the biggest knock on Darren McFadden? What kind of odds would you give on him playing all 16 games?

Gutierrez: Ouch. The biggest knock on Run DMC has been his inability to stay healthy throughout his career. He has never played in more than 13 games in any of his first five seasons and he has missed 23 games in his career. He insists he’s not injury-prone, though, and that each injury is a freak occurrence. Maybe, but based on his track record, it’s not a question of if McFadden gets hurt but when, and how the Raiders are equipped to deal with his absence. Harsh? Maybe, but also true. And based on that history, odds are low that he'll play all 16 games this season. Then again, he is in a contract year. And after being neutralized last week by the Colts to the tune of 48 yards on 17 carries, what better time for him to get going than against the Jags? In two career games against Jacksonville, McFadden has carried the ball 35 times for 176 yards.

RTC: Josh Scobee playing in the dirt

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
8:30
AM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee is spending some time away from the team's practice facility to prepare for Sunday's game at Oakland.

He's on the other side of the parking lot.

Scobee is spending time kicking on the infield dirt at the Baseball Grounds, the stadium which houses the Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. He's doing that because there's a good chance he'll have to do that at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders share the stadium with the Oakland Athletics and the infield won't be sodded until baseball season ends.

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union reports that Scobee's biggest concern is that his plant foot might slide on the dirt. Scobee said he's only kicked on dirt twice in his career, both times when the Jaguars played in Miami.

Here are some other pieces of content from around the web in the Jaguars' version of Reading the Coverage:

One of the benefits of ESPN's NFL Nation is being able to quickly reach out to all 32 teams for reaction on an issue or news. We're debuting a new feature, called NFL Nation Says, and the first one takes on whether Chip Kelly's offensive pace is sustainable for an entire season. Maurice Jones-Drew weighs in with his thoughts.

The T-U's Ryan O'Halloran gives three things to know about Sunday's matchup in his weekly Three And Out series.

Hays Carlyon of the T-U writes that quarterback Chad Henne wants to show coach Gus Bradley that he deserves to be the starter by playing well against the Raiders.

Here's my story on Henne, as well as some other pieces of content from this blog: Jones-Drew has not exactly been his best when he plays out West and a weekly recap of the Jaguars' quarterback play.

Roger Weeder of First Coast News writes that city officials must determine how the city will pay for its share of the improvements to EverBank Field.

Here's a roundup of what you can find on ESPN's Oakland Raiders blog: Paul Gutierrez asks how quarterback Terrelle Pryor can build on his showing from last week; the Raiders' offensive line is a pleasant surprise.

RTC: Jaguars need help at receiver

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
8:30
AM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of the biggest reasons for the Jaguars' lack of offense in their 28-2 loss to Kansas City last Sunday was a lack of playmakers in the passing game.

But maybe we should have seen that coming since the team was without receiver Justin Blackmon (four-game suspension) and tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf). That meant receiver Cecil Shorts had to carry the load, supplemented by a rookie (Ace Sanders), a former quarterback turned receiver in his first year (Mike Brown), and a player (Stephen Burton) claimed off waivers on Sept. 1 who went down with heat issues during last Wednesday's practice.

As Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union notes, that group had a combined seven career catches.

Oh, and the guy subbing for Lewis was Allen Reisner, a second-year tight end who entered the game with just two career catches.

That makes the passing offense's struggles a little more understandable.

Here are some other pieces of content from around the web in the Jaguars' version of Reading the Coverage:

Let's start with a recap of what you can find on this blog. Here's a scouting report on the Raiders and a quick recap of the Jaguars' spot in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings. Each week I'm going to rank the top 10 playmakers from the previous game. It wasn't easy after the dismal performance in the loss to Kansas City, but I did find 10.

The T-U's Ryan O'Halloran tracks safety Johnathan Cyprien's workload in his weekly Inside the Game feature.

John Oehser of Jaguars.com gives his storylines to watch and other tidbits about Sunday's game at Oakland.

ESPN fantasy football writer Tom Carpenter gives his short- and long-term expectations for Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor. He looks like an excellent play against the Jaguars , Carpenter writes.

NFL Nation Raiders writer Paul Gutierrez writes about cornerback D.J. Hayden. The Raiders' top draft pick had a rocky beginning to his career last Sunday. He allowed three completions for 37 yards -- all of which came on third down.

Get to know the Oakland Raiders

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
3:35
PM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars make their first road trip of the season out to the West Coast to face the Oakland Raiders, who have been having trouble with that whole "Just win, baby" thing the past decade.

The Raiders haven’t posted a winning season since reaching the Super Bowl following the 2002 season and have won more than five games just twice (8-8 in 2010-11). They enter Sunday’s matchup losers of nine of their last 10 games.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on CBS.

Here’s a look at the Raiders:

Record: 0-1.

Last week: Lost to Indianapolis 21-17.

Coach: Dennis Allen, second season (4-13).

Offensive coordinator: Greg Olson.

Defensive coordinator: Jason Tarver.

Series record: Jaguars lead 4-2.

THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW ON OFFENSE

QB Terrelle Pryor: The Raiders have decided to go with Pryor over Matt Flynn, for whom they gave up a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 to acquire from the Seahawks. Pryor clearly has a lot of work ahead of him as a passer but he’s as good a runner as any of the current group of mobile quarterbacks. In fact, he’s the NFL’s leading rusher (112 yards) after Week 1.

RB Darren McFadden: He is one of the NFL’s most productive backs when he’s healthy. His problem is that he seems to always be injured. Now in his sixth season, McFadden has missed 23 games. However, he’s just fine heading into this week’s showdown after accounting for 66 all-purpose yards (48 rushing, 18 receiving) and one touchdown against the Colts.

WR Rod Streater: He was an undrafted rookie who fought his way onto the Raiders’ roster and ended up with 39 catches for 584 yards and three touchdowns as the No. 3 receiver. His numbers may go up significantly this season because he worked out with Pryor in the offseason and the two apparently formed a pretty good connection , which showed last Sunday when Streater tied for the team lead with five catches for 70 yards against the Colts.

THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW ON DEFENSE

LB Nick Roach: The Raiders signed him as a free agent in the offseason and he was an upgrade athletically at middle linebacker over Rolando McClain. He impressed coaches in training camp with pass coverage ability. He led the Raiders with nine tackles against the Colts.

S Charles Woodson: Yup, he’s still in the league. The 36-year-old Woodson isn’t the player he was but he’s still good enough to be one of the Raiders’ starting safeties. His main value, though, is his experience and leadership --and not just for the younger players on defense. Management is counting on him to help keep the team focused during the rebuilding process.

DE Lamarr Houston: He’s one of only two returning starters from last year’s defense and the only player on this year’s defense who had a sack as a member of the Raiders in 2012. The former second-round draft pick has moved from the left side to the right side.

ETC.

The Raiders’ streak of 10 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance is the longest in franchise history. It’s also tied for the second-longest active streak (Cleveland). The longest streak belongs to the Buffalo Bills, who have missed the playoffs for the last 13 years. … Pryor is just the seventh quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 200 yards and rush for at least 100 yards in a regular-season game. The others: Michael Vick (twice), Randall Cunningham, Cam Newton, Aaron Brooks, Steve Young and Donovan McNabb.

RTC: Gabbert has long injury history

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
9:00
AM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is only in his third season, but he's got an injury history befitting a grizzled veteran.

As Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union writes, the cut on the back of his throwing hand that will keep him out of Sunday's game at Oakland is the latest in a string of injuries. Gabbert played through a toe injury in 2011 and also battled shoulder and forearm injuries last season, the latter of which landed him on injured reserve.

He sprained his right ankle on the third day of training camp and suffered a fractured right thumb during the Jaguars' second preseason game on Aug. 17. He cut his hand late in Sunday's game against Kansas City.

Here are some other pieces of content from around the web in the Jaguars' version of Reading the Coverage:

Content from this blog includes news about cornerback Dwayne Gratz's left high ankle sprain that will keep him out for three weeks as well as injury updates on guard Will Rackley and tight end Marcedes Lewis and the Jaguars receiving permission from the NFL to bring suspended receiver Justin Blackmon to California next week.

There's also a piece on whether backup quarterback Chad Henne would be a better option for the Jaguars' offense than Gabbert regardless of the injury situation.

Linebacker Kyle Knox is one of Peter King's Goats of the Week for catching a Bryan Anger punt instead of letting it roll for extra yardage.

Because of the Jaguars' miserable offensive performance against the Chiefs (178 total yards), the Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi is imploring the team to sign free-agent quarterback Tim Tebow.

According to NFL Nation Oakland Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez, Raiders coach Dennis Allen isn't playing any games this week when it comes to naming a starting quarterback. Terrelle Pryor, who accounted for 329 total yards against Indianapolis on Sunday, will be the Raiders' starter going forward.

As the Raiders begin preparations for the Jaguars, Gutierrez notes that the Raiders are relatively injury free.

SPONSORED HEADLINES