Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets opened the regular season with a 19-14 victory over the Raiders. While it was sloppy it is only week one it is much better to be 1-0 than in a hole at 0-1. How did it happen? Here are the quick hits:
1) Jets offense goes up and down the field – Geno Smith was 23/28 for 220 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a fumble lost. For the most part Smith was in control finding seven different receivers. He made 3 mistakes. He threw an interception that Charles Woodson dove in front of that led to a Raider touchdown, he fumbled inside the Raider five yard line on a scramble where he was separated from the ball by Sio Moore, and finally when he took a sack that knocked the Jets out of field goal position on an overload blitz. Eric Decker had five catches for 74 yards in his Jets debut, Jeff Cumberland had four catches for 50 yards, Jeremy Kerley had five for 38 yards and Johnson had five catches for 23 yards and a touchdown.
2) But only score 19 points – The Jets had an opening 10 play 33 yard drive that led to a field goal after a Willie Colon holding penalty and D’Brickashaw Ferguson penalty made the field goal 45 yards. After a diving interception by Charles Woodson led to a Raider touchdown, Smith led the Jets on a 12 play 81 yard drive that ended when he was hit on a scramble and fumbled. When the Jets got the ball back they went on a 12 play 80 yard touchdown drive to close the half. The Jets offense has been good mixing the run and pass as well as formations but the turnovers will kill them if they let them. Geno Smith took an inexcusable sack in the 4th quarter that pushed the Jets out of field goal range which would have given them a two score lead.
3) Penalties rear their ugly head again – The Jets had seven more penalties in the 1st half for 54 yards, including two on Willie Colon. There were a couple of untimely offsides penalties on the defensive line. These penalties hurt Jets drives and extend Raider drives and need to stop. There was only one penalty on a defensive back, and the holding penalty on Allen was declined because he gave up a 17 yard back shoulder catch to Streeter. In the 2nd half there was an abysmal offensive pass interference call against Decker. There was also an obscenely bad roughing the passer against Calvin Pace that extended a Raider drive. The Jets finished with 10 penalties for 89 yards.
4) Offensive line played well – Geno Smith was barely hurried until the 4th quarter and the run game was able to get going as the offensive line won in the trenches. Aside from the penalties all of the linemen represented themselves well. Chris Ivory had 10 carries for 102 yards, including a 71 yard touchdown run. Chris Johnson had 13 carries for 68 yards and Geno Smith had 8 carries for 40 yards.
5) The Jets defense asserts itself after the 1st quarter – The Jets shut down the Raiders running game and dared Derek Carr to beat him and while he hit his 1st 7 passes they were all short and as the game wore on it became more and more difficult for him coverage-wise. The Jets were disguising their looks in an attempt to confuse the rookie signal caller. The Raiders picked up the Jets 1st half blitzes which allowed Carr to throw some easy pick plays including his touchdown to Streeter. Once the Jets blitzed less they were able to take away easy reads and it made life difficult for Carr. Quinton Coples forced a fumble. Muhammad Wilkerson batted down 2 passes and Sheldon Richardson was consistently in the backfield. Jason Babin made a difference when he was in the game hurrying Carr as did Calvin Pace.
6) The Jets beleaguered secondary holds its own – The Raiders only connected on one deep ball where James Jones beat Walls but it was in garbage time and other than a couple of crossing routes and a back shoulder throw the Jets corners covered very well. Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls both played well on the outside and took Carr’s initial reads away. Allen did a great job tackling when he did allow a reception and kept the receiver short of the sticks. The Jets dropped Calvin Pryor back into deep coverage more than he had played and he responded with a good game including a dropped interception that would have been a touchdown.
7) Quigley punts well – Quigley pinned the Raiders at their own 13 and their own five on two of his punts and did a good job not allowing returns. It was refreshing to see from a preseason where he was just awful. Quigley did have a pedestrian 36 yard punt but for the most part he played well. Folk hit both of his field goals, each over 40 yards and Hakim had a 44 yard kickoff return to start the game that led to a field goal.