Jacksonville Sports Day

NFL: Raiders Make Del Rio’s Return to Jacksonville a Happy One

Photo by Nancy Beecher/Florida Sports Wire

JACKSONVILLE –  Former Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio’s return to Jacksonville was a happy one – at least for Del Rio – as the Oakland Raiders won for the first time in three tries at Everbank Field, 33-16 over the Jaguars.

“Obviously we are very disappointed. We were excited about this opportunity, but lost our poise.  Have to give the Raiders credit,” said Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley. “Offensively we are not playing as we should.”

Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, QB David Carr threw for a score and Latavius Murray ran for two touchdowns as the Raiders improved to 5-2.

Carr was 22 of 37 for 200 yards and a TD pass to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree caught eight passes for 96 yards. Murray put Oakland ahead 13-3 on a 2-yard run and added a 9-yard score late on the contest.

Photo by Nancy Beecher

Photo by Nancy Beecher

It was a homecoming of sorts for Del Rio who was named Oakland’s 55th head coach in 2015. He served in that role with the Jaguars for nine seasons from 2003-2011.

“Well, a lot of great memories here. It was a great place to spend nine years raising the family and being blessed with the opportunity to lead the Jaguar franchise,” Del Rio said. “I was very appreciative of that time. I met a lot of good folks here; a lot of good memories, a lot of good friends. It is good to come back here and get a good effort in this stadium.”

The visitors led 20-6 at the end of the half.

Janikowski kicked field goals of 52, 44, 26 and 32-yards. While Jacksonville’s Jason Myers connected from 23, 44 and 37 yards.

Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles was 23 of 43  for 246 yards but threw his first of two interceptions in the end zone to erase an early scoring chance. He hooked up with tight end Julius Thomas for a 9-yard TD with 4:12 to play.

Marqise Lee caught seven passes for 107 yards to lead the Jaguars. The Jacksonville running game was split between Bortles and backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory but only generated a total of 105 yards.

“We’re just not in those situations where we can keep pounding the run and have those opportunities come up. With that being said, we need to get more movement up front,” Bradley said of the running game. “I think we need to see the hole and use our instincts a little bit better and hit the seams when they are created. There are things like that we need to school up as well.”

Defensively, safety Johnathan Cyprien led the Jaguars in tackles totaling 11 solo tackles. It is the second time this season Cyprien has registered double-digit tackles. With eight tackles, seven solo, linebacker Paul Posluszny moved into third on the Jaguars all-time tackle list with 840 tackles, passing Mike Peterson. Linebacker  Telvin Smith recorded five tackles, four solo, including three tackles for a loss.

Photo by Nancy Beecher

Photo by Nancy Beecher

Despite the loss, the Jaguars are still on track for a playoff position. They play in the AFC South, one of the weakest division in the NFL and have five games against division opponents, all winnable.

The Jaguars ( 2-4) had won two straight coming into Sunday’s game and were coming off a come from behind 17-16 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

“Well, I feel for our fans. They show up and they cheer and they’re supportive and we just didn’t play very well in front of them today,” Bradley said. “For us, we’re trying to do everything we can to play as well as we can. And we feel like when we do that, then we’ll give them a good product. Today, we didn’t play up to our capabilities.”

The Jaguars play on Thursday night against the Titans at Tennessee.

JAGUARS NOTES: Jacksonville defensive tackle Malik Jackson was disqualified in the fourth quarter for two unsportsmanlike penalties…tickets distributed were 62,614….former Jaguar Reggie Nelson picked off Bortles in the fourth quarter…defensive end  Tyson Alualu, the team’s 10th overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, made his 100th career appearance against the Raiders….tight end Marcedes Lewis, in his 11th season, appeared in his 150th career.

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