Raiders finish on top in home opener
Not even a month after Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski signed a contract extension to keep him in Silver and Black until he retires, he became the team’s early 2013 scoring leader.
Led by Janikowki’s four field goals, the Oakland Raiders trampled the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-9 for their first win of the season.
It was also the first time Raiders fans got to see quarterback Terrelle Pryor as the official starter at O.co Coliseum. Though the game fell short of a sellout, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen didn’t mind one bit:
“I think it’s huge to get a win. This football team needed to get a win. Now we need to build on it.”
Pryor went 15-24 for 126 yards and no interceptions, but he didn’t run for nearly as many yards this week (9 carries, 50 yards), yielding instead to Darren McFadden.
Run-DMC took the ball 19 times for 129 yards and was a key contributor on the Raiders offense. McFadden was unable to find the end zone, while Marcel Reece became the first man to find the paint on an 11-yard-run early in the first quarter.
“We need to convert third downs. I believe we were in the red zone five times and we were only able to score one touchdown. … There’s a lot of things we need to clean up, it was sloppy… I think our defense coming out and creating a three and out on the first drive was huge.”
The Raiders are 1-1, while the Jaguars fell to 0-2. Pryor said:
“It’s good to get the win, but I’m just ready to get to Denver next week.”
McFadden fumbled in the 4th quarter, something Allen wasn’t pleased with:
“(McFadden) needs to protect the ball better, and he knows that.”
Raiders fans finally got to see McFadden in top form, following a season where he averaged a mediocre 3.3 yards per carry in Greg Knapp’s zone blocking offense.
The Raiders have switched back to the power blocking scheme that McFadden has performed well in, enabling McFadden to finish with a 6.8 yards per rush attempt Sunday afternoon. McFadden said:
“We know eventually we’ll break the big runs off and they’ll start coming.”
Sio Moore and the defensive unit performed admirably, albeit against a backup quarterback in Chad Henne and a pretty bad NFL offense, though their performance wasn’t without some negatives.
Safety Tyvon Branch and cornerback Mike Jenkins left the game and would not return. The initial word on Branch was an undisclosed leg injury. Jenkins is in a contract year and will most likely want to return as quickly as possible.
The Raiders took care of business Sunday and will face the AFC West favorite Denver Broncos next Monday night. The team still needs to improve in every aspect of their game to come out of that one with a victory.
Allen said he still considers Pryor a work in progress:
“Everything we do with Terrelle is a learning process. Every snap he takes is a growing experience.”