Aug 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen during the game against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
We just have one more day to wait, New York Jets fans. Tomorrow afternoon we take over MetLife stadium. All of the talk, the preparations, the predictions, are finished. Tomorrow, Geno Smith, Chris Johnson, Eric Decker, and the rest of Rex Ryan’s New York Jets take on Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, and the rest of Dennis Allen’s Oakland Raiders.
Looking at the Jets’ schedule, the Jets need this one. Before the Jets embark on this journey through the best quarterbacks in the universe, they need to get off on the right foot. The Jets are headed for a rough portion of the season, and it could make a big difference if they start at 1-0. This is a winnable game, but the Jets had better not overlook this team. They could give the Jets fits. Here are some keys to victory.
MAKE DEREK CARR BEAT YOU: For anyone out there that didn’t know, Derek Carr makes his NFL debut at quarterback Sunday for the Raiders. Anyone who knows Rex Ryan’s history knows that his defenses typically eat rookie quarterbacks for breakfast. The Jets need to make Derek Carr be the difference maker. If they do that, they have an excellent chance of victory. The Jets’ front seven can get after this guy, and make is debut a forgettable one.
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How do the Jets do it? It’s not going to be easy. Why? Because they have to stop the run. And against these running backs, that is far from simple. We talked about it earlier this week, but Darren McFadden has been a beast against the Jets in the past. Last time these two teams met, McFadden posted a career best 171 rushing yards, and ran the ball at nine yards per carry. He is a speed back, and this type of player has been the Jets’ kryptonite for years.
Add Maurice Jones-Drew to the mix, and the Jets have a rough task ahead of them. MJD has gone up against the Jets three times in his career, and averaged 90 yards per game against us. He too is a speed back, and a good one. If the Jets don’t set the edge on defense, they could be in for a long day. Derek Carr performed well in the preseason, and if the running backs can keep the Jets defense honest, it will be a long day.
Set the edge and stop these two, make Derek Carr win the game, and the defense will have successfully set the team up for success.
GET CHRIS JOHNSON IN SPACE: Coming into 2014, the Jets are in a unique position, one that they haven’t been in for years. That is the position of having a dynamic running back. Not since Curtis Martin have the Jets carried a talent like Chris Johnson. He can get to the outside, and he can beat you catching passes out of the backfield as well. We saw glimpses in the preseason, we need to see more. Getting Chris Johnson on the edge will open up the middle of the line for Chris Ivory to do his thing, running through people.
GET GENO SMITH MOVING: Geno Smith is not the strict drop back passer. Geno can move around a little bit. To be successful the Jets need to harness this ability, but running plays with designed rollouts. Don’t have him run only when the protection breaks down. His instincts have improved, so the Jets would be well served to let Geno move around, and trust his football instincts, instead of simply dropping straight back.
What are some of your keys to the game?