The Jets take on the Oakland Raiders in a week 3 matchup on Sunday afternoon at 4 PM. Here are some things to watch:
PROTECT THE QB, GROUND AND POUND
A tough job, no doubt. Especially because Nick Mangold will not be on the plane to Oakland. It will take a team effort including the coach. That means you Rex. No trying to force anyone a catch, that was a good enough scare last week. Keep Mark Sanchez on his feet. The Raiders have amassed 6 sacks so far, as have the Jets, so the line will have its handful, with a defensive front led by Richard Seymour, which makes for a great welcome to the NFL for Colin Baxter.
They need to establish the running game this week. This could be the week that it happens, if the offensive line gets it together. The Oakland Raiders are giving up 7.1 yards per carry on the ground so far this young season, which just might be what the doctor ordered for the Jets. This is the week to get Shonn Greene off the deck. 2.9 yards per carry is just not good enough. Look for him to improve upon that number this week.
AVOID JET LAG
This is not an easy trip for any team. The Patriots are facing the same task coming back east to face the Bills after playing in San Diego. Travelling from one coast to the other is never easy. Rex Ryan is keeping them on Eastern Time, which will help. Mike Westhoff also had the kickers practicing on a baseball field to get used to the field in Oakland. They have historically had issues when travelling coast to coast. Let’s see if they can break that hex.
STOP DARREN MCFADDEN
The most intriguing matchup will be Darren McFadden against the Jets run defense. Darren McFadden has been huge for Oakland, rushing at an alarmingly strong 5.3 yards per carry, and averaging 111 yards rushing per game on this young season. Contrast that with the Jets defense, that has allowed only 176 yards rushing, and 3.3 yards per carry so far this year, and this makes for a pivotal matchup on Sunday.
There are some keys to the game on Sunday. See you on the other side.