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Jack Del Rio’s Raiders smash Jaguars

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Jack Del Rio’s return to EverBank Field was a happy one as his Oakland Raiders stuffed the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-16 on Sunday. The former Jacksonville coach saw his team win ugly, but as the late Raiders’ owner Al Davis was known for saying: “Just win, baby.”

“Lot of good memories here, lot of good friends,” said Del Rio. “It’s good to come back and to have a good effort here in this stadium.”

Unfortunately for Jaguars’ fans, the pre-winning streak version of their team showed up on Sunday as opposed to the team that had won their last two games. It was not a pretty sight.

Jacksonville Coach Gus Bradley had to be deeply disappointed with an offense that never got anything going. It was a hard game to watch for fans, let alone a coaching staff that has much to prepare for in practice this week.

Both teams were flagged for 239 yards in penalties, but the big difference came in the turnover department. Jacksonville turned the ball over three times while Oakland did not give it away.

While the Jags outgained the Raiders 344 yards to 317, Jacksonville will not improve as an offense without a running game. T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory were again held under 100 combined yards on the ground. Quarterback Blake Bortles scrambled enough to gain 33 yards giving the team 105 yards rushing.

Jacksonville seemed unprepared for whatever the Raiders were throwing at them. The offense was so ineffective, boos began cascading from the stands beginning in the first half.

Bortles struggled on Sunday. He was 23 of 43 passing for 246 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. A good portion of those yards came late in the game with Jacksonville trailing by 17 points.

The Jaguars did not reach the end zone until 4:12 remained and Oakland totally in control with a 26-9 lead. The Raiders were the team ready to fight from the opening kickoff.

On the other hand, Jacksonville put up their biggest fight in the last five minutes. Post-play skirmishes broke out in the closing minutes including one with 3:12 remaining involving one of last week’s defensive heroes, Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey and Oakland’s Johnny Holton were ejected.

Jacksonville will try to find the team that won the previous two games, but they don’t have much time to look. On Thursday, they travel to Nashville to face Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans.

Four of Jacksonville’s next five games are on the road.


Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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