Jaguars at Raiders -- Week 7

Where: Coliseum, Oakland, Calif. (grass, outdoors)

When: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Spread: Raiders by 4

Forecast: Temperatures expected in the low 60s, sunny skies, winds around 15 mph

Records: Jaguars (Overall: 1-4, AFC South: 1-1); Raiders (Overall: 1-4, AFC West: 0-2)

Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Dec. 12, 2010: Jaguars 38, Raiders 31; Dec. 23, 2007: Jaguars 49, Raiders 11. Series record: Jaguars lead 4-1.

What matters: This is more a test of survival than a game. Both teams are off to a 1-4 start, and though it looks grim for both sides already, getting to 2-4 would be a huge morale booster going forward. The Raiders are coming off a heartbreaking, 23-20 loss to undefeated Atlanta last week. Was that a sign of progress or just another indication that they can’t get the job done? They’ll have a chance to answer that question this week. The Jaguars are coming off their bye week. It’s been a week of trying to get healthier and getting back to the basics. Coach Mike Mularkey vowed that they’re not giving up or starting over, rather they’ll continue to improve and make small changes to get back on track.

Who matters: Coaches are often described as being on the hot seat, but the same description applies to QB Blaine Gabbert, who has shown subtle signs of improvement in his second season, but overall the results haven’t been there. The Jags are last in the NFL in passing yards per game (142.8) and Gabbert was roughed up in a 41-3 loss to Chicago two weeks ago, throwing two interceptions and posting a QB rating of 37.7. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (84 carries, 408 yards) is a great indicator of how the team is playing. His two best games -- at Minnesota (77 yards) and at Indianapolis (177 yards) -- are the team’s best performances of the year.

Key matchups: The Raiders come into this game with the 12th ranked passing attack in the league, averaging 271.4 yards per game. It’s not an attack that relies on one go-to receiver, but rather QB Carson Palmer spreads the ball around to multiple RBs, TEs and WRs. That’ll put a strain on the Jaguars’ LBs and DBs who must be disciplined in picking up their assignments. Oakland RB Darren McFadden’s numbers have been somewhat disappointing, but he’s the type player who can take a short pass 80 yards if it’s not defended properly.

Injuries of note: S Dwight Lowery (ankle), WR Laurent Robinson (concussion) and LB Daryl Smith (groin) are the biggest concerns. This week was the targeted return for Smith, who has been out all season, but he didn’t practice on Thursday, making it look like he could be out longer.

Inside stuff: Lowery’s injury causes a gap in a secondary that already gives up an average of 261 yards of passing per game. S Chris Prosinski is expected to start in his place, but the Jaguars brought in veteran S Chris Harris this week for some insurance.

Connections: Palmer will be reunited with Jaguars OC Bob Bratkowski. Palmer was the QB for the Bengals while Bratkowski was the OC from 2003-10. It will also be a homecoming for Jones-Drew, who is from nearby Antioch, Calif, and starred at UCLA.

Stats you should know: The Jaguars are giving up an average of 163 rushing yards per game. McFadden is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry, and the Raiders are 29th in the league with 78.4 yards per game. This is a weakness vs. weakness scenario: Somebody will have a better day than normal.  

Looking ahead: The Jaguars will travel to Green Bay next week before hosting Detroit the following week. They then begin a three-week stretch against Indianapolis, Houston and Tennessee, all AFC South foes.

Prediction: Raiders 28, Jaguars 20

For more news and analysis of the Jaguars, follow Daniel Lewis @CBSJags.