It’s week 14 in the NFL and it means the New York Jets will be playing host to the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium.
Now here’s a look at what both teams will face come 1 p.m. Sunday:
“A slight chance of rain and snow after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Chance of precipitation is 20%.”
Normally, I’d pose the question who does the weather favor but let’s be honest here; this will be typical December football weather and the Jets haven’t played the greatest in bad weather conditions.
The exception was the first meeting with the Patriots… but that feels like a millennium ago.
If the weather does get bad, you can’t really rely on the air attack unless it’s once in a while. Bad weather conditions make for a game plan that includes a solid running game. That’s something the Jets haven’t had in weeks. The cause of that is the offensive line is making us all remember the last two years in the Mark Sanchez era. Nick Mangold and company are not getting any kind of push at the point of attack.
Right now on paper, the Raiders have the better running attack led by Darren McFadden.
A running game is a young quarterback’s best friend. As much as plenty of Jets want to completely forget the good Sanchez did but when the Jets in 2009 and 2010 were the solid team that went to the AFC title games, they had a real good ground game that helped get Sanchez comfortable with the game. And the offensive line gave Sanchez time to throw the ball.
If Geno Smith is to have any kind of success, the Jets offensive staff need to take the pressure off of him and get the running game going. It’s the only chance to make him feel comfortable in the game and then you can get Smith into a throwing rhythm.
Getting the Jets running game going will help the defense tremendously. The most fascinating stat from last week’s game against the Dolphins is that they 50 offensive plays to the Jets 17. Not only is that because of the ineptitude of the offense, it’s because the defense has a hard time getting off the field on third down.
None of that I blame on the front seven. They’ve played incredible all season long. It’s the fact that the back end of the defense can’t cover the wide receivers and tight ends — and that’s a problem.
If you asked me a few weeks ago if the Jets would win this game, I would’ve said yes. But with the way they’ve been playing lately, I will say no.
All of this will depend on the weather and then we shall see.