Wildcard Playoffs Day 2
Today we continue the Wildcard Playoffs with the Jaguars @ Raiders and Redskins @ Lions. Yesterday we saw the Saints destroy the Bears and the Ravens take out the Browns easily.
Jaguars @ Raiders
The Jaguars defense gets things going early by picking off the 2nd play from scrimmage of the Raiders. Jaguars offense start inside the Raiders 40 yard line.
After a few good runs by the Jags, the Raiders defense is able to shut them down inside the 20 and force a field goal. Jaguars 3-0.
Midway through the 1st quarter the Raiders defense returns the favor and picks off an errant Jags pass to take over deep in Jags territory.
With the Raiders appearing to be poised to take the lead, the rain has other ideas as Raiders running back Sony Michel caughs up the ball inside the Jags 10 yard line.
The Jags aren't able to do anything with the ball and are forced to punt it away as the Raiders defense holds. Once the Raiders offense has the ball back, they too can't do anything meaningful with the ball and punt it right back to the Jags pinning them deep in their end.
The rain is playing havoc on both teams so far as Tavon Young picks off another wayward pass from the Jaguars QB Drew Brees, giving the Raiders another shot inside the 50 yard line. In a defensive rain battle the 1st quarter ends with our score still 3-0 with the Jaguars in the lead.
Saquon Barkley is running the ball well today and the Jags might want to stick with him since Brees has turned the ball over twice in the 1st quarter alone. On 3rd and goal the Jaguars once again call on Brees and this time he gets it to his guy Odell Bekham Jr. for the 50/50 ball in the end zone to increase the lead to 10-0 Jags.
The Raiders can't manage to do much other than punt the ball back to the Jaguars so far today and the Jaguars once again have the ball deep in the Raiders redzone after another one. Brees once again passes on 3rd and goal and this time almost has it intercepted for a pick 6 but the rain helps them out and the Raiders defender drops the ball. The Jags manage to get another field goal out of the drive to push the lead to 13-0 as the half is nearing it's end.
The Raiders are able to move the ball well on the ground so far, they should probably stick to it vs going to the air. With under 3 minutes left in the first half they have a nice drive going and have the ball near midfield. But once again, QB Watson is unable to connect with a Raiders receiver as the tough Jags defense slaps the ball away and the Raiders are forced to punt once again. Jags ball at their own 30 yard line with just under 2 minutes left in the 1st half.
Brees immediately fires one downfield 24 yards to Robinson II to put the Jaguars in position for a late field goal at worst. Odell Beckham Jr. gets the Jags inside the Raiders 30 yard line with a couple of nice grabs with 45 seconds left in the half. And that's where it ends as the Raiders pick off Brees at their own 12 yard line for the 3rd time this half! If only the Raiders offense could have showed up today, this might be a better game.
The Raiders QB Watson drops back on 1st down and is promptly sacked by the Jaguars defense dropping them inside their own 5 yard line. On the 2nd play of the drive Sony Michel almost breaks a long one to make the game closer, but he's tripped up with nothing but daylight ahead. That takes us to the half with the score still 13-0 Jaguars.
Brees starts the 2nd half firing a long pass to Robinson II to get the Jaguars quickly into the Raiders end of the field. The Raiders defense are keeping them in this game as they hold tight and force the Jaguars to punt and take over at their own 20 yard line. But once again, the Raiders offense can't manage to get a first down and punt it back to the Jags for the 6th time so far today.
Raider nation can be pleased with one thing today, their defense. Once again they hold the Jaguars to a 3 and out and get the ball back for their stumbling offense at their own 32 yard line. It doesn't help though when on the first play of the drive Raiders QB Watson is dropped deep in the backfield to make it 2nd and 20.
On 3rd and 16 Watson hits his favorite receiver, a Jaguars defender, for another turnover. Jaguars take over once again inside the Raiders 45 yard line. This is one ugly game, but at least there are some nice defensive plays being made in the rain. Jaguars still have the lead 13-0.
The Raiders defense gets another sack on Brees pushing the Jaguars back a little forcing a long 3rd down that Brees cannot pick up as the defense pounces on Robinson II and forces the ball loose. The Jags punt the ball away again pinning the Raiders inside their own 20 yard line.
Can Deshaun Watson get anything going? That's the question today as he's yet to find an answer to the Jags staunch defense. With under 7 minutes left in the 3rd period the Raiders have a long 3rd and 12 and can't manage more than a few yards and once again, punt it back to the Jaguars in what has become a field position battle.
This game is all about defense as we're now under 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and not a sign of either offense in the 2nd half at this point. The punters are the story of the game so far today as they battle it out for field position, with the Jaguars winning that battle to this point.
Brees is able to connect with Odell Beckham Jr. to get the Jaguars inside the redzone but the Raiders are up to the challenge and immediately stop Barkley on the next play for a loss forcing a long 2nd down play. On 3rd and 7 the Jaguars opt to pass and come up short of the 1st down and settle for another field goal. Jaguars 16-0.
The Raiders open the 4th quarter with a 3rd and 1 that they can't convert, and once again they punt it back to the Jaguars offense. You have to give the Raiders defense a lot of credit today as they have shut down Barkley for the most part and continue to give Drew Brees fits.
A facemask penalty really hurts the Raiders and puts the Jaguars inside the 40 yard line of the Raiders, but the Jaguars can't really do much until Barkley finally gets loose for a 17 yard gainer to get them deep into the Raiders end.
With under 11 minutes in the game, once again the Raiders defense comes up huge and picks off Brees for a 4th time, and this time decides not to let the offense touch the ball as Tavon Young takes it all the way back for 6 points cutting the score to 16-7!
The Raiders go for 2 points and make it, but a holding penalty brings it back. On the second attempt at the 2 pointer, another holding penalty ruins any hopes of cutting the score even further.
Once again the Raiders defense stops the Jaguars cold in their tracks and force a punt to give their struggling offense another shot at redemption. Let's see if they can manage to do anything at all with the ball. So far it's been a lesson in futility.
Backed up deep in their own end the Raiders offense manages to gain only 2 yards, forcing a 4th and 8 and they go for it with 7 minutes left? What a bonehead decision this turned out to be as they give the ball back to the Jaguars inside their own 20 yard line and likely give the game away barring another turnover by the Jags.
The Jaguars waste no time on this drive and Barkley punches it in from 6 yards to pretty much put this one away. You really have to question the coaching decision to go for it on 4th down deep in their own territory by the Raiders. Jaguars 23-6.
The Raiders hopes all hinge on Watson's ability to complete a pass for more than 5 yards at this point. With a long 3rd down and 10 he does complete one finally, but it's to a Jaguars defender! And that about wraps this one up folks as the Jags take over inside the Raiders 30 yard line.
It should be all Barkley from here on out, but no ... Brees drops back to pass and is sacked for a huge loss! Luckily he hung onto the ball in the rain. The Raiders are blitzing on just about every down now, forcing Brees to get rid of the ball early and on 4th and 23 they force another Jags punt.
Is there still time for Raider nation to get back in this game? Probably not, but what a performance by the Raiders defense today regardless of the outcome. They gave it their best effort, it's just unfortunate that their offense decided to sleep in today.
With under 4 minutes to go in the game Deshaun Watson is sacked again on the Raiders 4 yard line making it 2nd and 18. A nice run by the Raiders gets them out of the jam a little and a nice pass plus a penalty gives the Raiders a little breathing room up to their 47 yard line. We're now under 3 minutes to go when the Raiders offense has an inexcusable holding penalty.
With 2:14 on the clock Watson connects with Merideth to get them across midfield but it's too little too late in this one as the clock runs down to the 2 minute warning.
Watson can't seem to get the ball to anyone today outside the Jaguars defenders as he's picked off for the 4th time by Earl Thomas at the Jags 20 yard line. He's able to get a nice return as well and that should be just about it as the Jags have the ball at their own 45 yard line.
Barkley breaks off a nice run giving him a quiet 148 yards on the day and keeps that clock ticking down, like the Raiders season. Two more runs by Barkley and it's all over as the Jags take this one 23-6, keeping their repeat hopes alive. Congrats @ats-david!
This post will be updated as the action unfolds.