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Raiders take another step away from the league's lowliest ranks

  • Raiders defenders Usama Young and Tracy Porter sack Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne. (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

OAKLAND — It was herky-jerky, a bit messy, perhaps even boring at times. But it was a thing of beauty to the success-starved Raiders. They got a 19-9 victory in their home opener at O.co Coliseum, and who cares if it came against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that many consider the worst in the National Football League?

“Listen, we won a football game, and that's all we can go out and try and do in a week-in and week-out basis,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen, who improved to .500 for the first time as an NFL head coach at 1-1. “So I was proud of our football team for winning the game.”

And to be fair, there was a lot for Allen to be pleased with, starting with a defense that harried and battered Jacksonville. The Jaguars, who didn't score a point in a loss to Kansas City last week, had just 120 total yards after three quarters Sunday. They finished with 248 against an Oakland defense that largely went to a bend-but-don't-break scheme in the later stages.

Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

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The Jags rushed for just 34 yards on 19 carries, a paltry 1.8-yard average that wasn't helped when lead running back Maurice Jones-Drew left the game with an ankle injury. And when the visitors fell behind and Chad Henne was forced to the air, the Raiders brought the sort of pressure they hadn't displayed in a while. They finished with five sacks, more than they had in any game last season.

The attack came from a variety of angles, too; three of the five sacks were recorded by defensive backs, including 1 by safety Usama Young.

“With our defense, we move around a lot, we've got a lot of pressures,” said Young, who came to Oakland as a free agent this year. “We've got some guys that rush a lot, some guys back out in the zone, and people moving around. That often keeps them confused, so as a defense we like to have those moving pieces, and then once the ball snaps they don't know where we're coming from.”

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