Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/13/13
With the Oakland Raiders’ second game of the season right around the corner, fans are wondering how the team will match up to the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Jaguars’ quarterback Blaine Gabbert out because of an injury, the question is will this benefit the Raiders’ defense? Absolutely. Chad Henne takes Gabbert’s place, and I think all teams have some adjustment issues when playing with a different quarterback. Hopefully the Raiders’ defense Jared Veldheer (Photo credit: Vittorio Tafur) will take note of this and attempt every blitz they possibly can. Another question in the minds of Raiders’ fans is how Terrelle Pryor will play. He showed impressive athletic ability against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, but Pryor says he “played awful.” What does this mean for the Raiders’ offense with the upcoming game? I think we can only expect greater skills out of Pryor. He is unwilling to settle for less than his best, which will only prove to be advantageous in future games. Even the Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck had nothing but positive words to say about Pryor. What does this say about the Raiders’ improved performance? I think everyone is pleasantly shocked at how much improvement we’ve seen from the Raiders just with the first game. Even though they lost 21-17, we can see how hard they are trying as a team, and with players like Pryor’s increased enthusiasm about the year, I think we can only expect great things coming from Oakland. However, what does Oakland need to increase their chances of a winning season? One of the biggest issues surrounding the Raiders is lack of money. With only 2/3 of the Raiders’ spending money available, the team found it difficult to draft players this preseason, and let’s face it – the richest teams usually have the highest chances of winning. Another issue to consider is left tackle Jared Veldheer’s recent injury, which will prevent him from being able to play until Week 9 of the season. Not only that, but he won’t even be able to practice until Week 8. Why will this pose an issue for the Raiders? The fact that Veldheer won’t be able to practice until Week 8 inhibits his ability to play well the first few weeks after that. After all, practice makes perfect. Still, my bet is on the Raiders for this Sunday’s game. Why am I choosing them over the Jacksonville Jaguars? The Raiders have already shown so much heart in the preseason and beginning of the regular season. Yes, they have a few minor setbacks they’ll have to overcome, but I think their determination and effort will pay off in the end.
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