NY Jets: Complete breakdown of the Oakland Raiders
Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fans cheer during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
With their second loss of the season, the NY Jets are set to travel West to face the Oakland Raiders in hopes of adding a win to their column.
Darrelle Revis will lead his fourth ranked pass defense out West this week to face the Oakland Raiders. The game, coming on the heels of the loss to the New England Patriots represents the only back to back road games the Jets have on their schedule this year. The Jets bring a 4-2 record into this game and currently stand in second place of the AFC East.
The Raiders own a 3-3 record and also stand in second place of the AFC West. Both teams ironically stand in second place, behind undefeated division leaders, and both have dropped games to those teams. The Jets lost to New England last week and the Raiders fell to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago. Much like the Jets’ loss to the Patriots, the loss to the Broncos was a closely contested affair as both teams came within seven points of pulling off the upset.
Don’t let the Raiders record fool you, this is a talented team and they are showing improvement as the weeks go on. The Raiders have lost three times this year, they lost their first game to the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, then dropped a game to the undefeated Denver Broncos, with a loss to the Chicago Bears sandwiched in between. In the three losses, the Raiders lost by a combined total of 28 points, and if you overlook the 20 point blow out against the Bengals, the Raiders have lost 2 of their three by a mere 8 points in total. Make no mistake, this is not the Raiders of old.
I think the Jets need to take this game very seriously. Todd Bowles will need to refocus his team this week, putting the Pats game behind them. He said that is exactly what the Jets intentions are in his press conference this week, and I am confident he’ll do exactly that. So, let’s take a quick look at what the Jets can expect when they travel out West this weekend.
Next: Keeping an eye on Mr. Carr
Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Offense of the Raiders
Derek Carr is the leader of this football team. The second year signal caller has shown considerable improvement this year after his rookie campaign last season. The Raiders took Carr in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he has not disappointed, showing development throughout his young career. In his rookie season alone he threw for 21 touchdowns versus 11 interceptions, but threw predominantly short passes throughout the season.
This year, the Raiders went out and got him some weapons, and the immediate stat that jumps out at you as a result, is Carr’s efficiency. Last season as a rookie, he threw at a 58.1 completion rate, this year he’s throwing at a rate of 65.8 percent. Last week against the San Diego Chargers, he completed 77.4 percent of his passes.
Carr is making some noise out West this year, and the Jets would be wise to take notice. For the season, Carr’s numbers look like this, 127 completions on 193 attempts, 1,460 yards, 11 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and a 101.0 passer rating. Just to compare, Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s numbers are 129 completions on 210 attempts, 1,472 yards, 11 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 86.1 passer rating.
Amari Cooper was drafted by the Raiders in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, fourth overall. Considered one of the top two receivers in college football last season, Cooper has not disappointed. After shattering nearly all the receiving records at Alabama last season, Cooper has set his sights on the NFL. Making a very smooth transition from college to the pros, Cooper has already proven he is a force to be reckoned with.
For the season, he already has 33 receptions on 50 targets, 519 yards, a 15.7 yard average, 3 touchdowns and 18 first downs. Cooper is the real deal and likely will draw Revis this week in coverage. Again for comparison, Brandon Marshall has 41 receptions on 61 targets, 578 yards, a 14.1 yard average, 4 touchdowns and 29 first downs. Cooper will need to be accounted for on each and every snap on Sunday.
Michael Crabtree is the Raiders No. 2 receiver. Crabtree was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Crabtree struggled with injuries in his early career and was signed by the Raiders this year to a one-year deal, reportedly paying him $3 millions. Crabtree is playing in his seventh season and has played admirably for the Raiders so far this season.
Avoiding injury to this point in the season, Crabtree has put up 33 receptions on 56 targets, 381 yards, a 11.5 average, 2 touchdowns and 22 first downs. Crabtree and Carr have built up a chemistry together, and connected on a long 25-yard touchdown pass against the Chargers last week.
Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) is defended by San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) after a catch during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Decker, considered the Jets’ No. 2 receiver, has put up 24 receptions on 38 targets, 333 yards, a 13.9 average, 4 touchdowns and 17 first downs. The Jets’ defensive secondary will need to keep a close eye on Crabtree on third downs. Crabtree is 6’1″/215 and will likely draw Antonio Cromartie in coverage all day when the Jets and Raiders square off.
Behind Crabtree and Cooper, the Raiders have a large set of options which includes veteran Marcel Reece (3 TD), one-year man Seth Roberts (2 TD), rookie Clive Walford (1 TD), third year TE Mychal Rivera and Andre Holmes (1 TD), just to name a few. The Raiders through the air have accounted for 150 receptions on 224 targets, 1,602 yards, a 10.7 average, 13 touchdowns and are averaging 260.7 yards per game.
Just for the heck of it, the Jets in the air have 129 receptions on 210 targets, 1472 yards, 11 touchdowns and average 245.3 yards per game. The Raiders in the air match up nicely with the Jets, they will definitely present a challenge to the Jets’ defensive secondary on Sunday.
The Raiders’ rushing game has struggled mightily this season, with their running backs averaging far below 100 yards per game. Latavius Murray is entering his third season as a pro and expectations were high for this young man to build on a strong close to the 2014 season where he averaged over five yards per carry. So far this season, the Raiders rushing attack has been mediocre at best, and will likely struggle against an oppressive Jets’ run defense that ranks No. 1 in the league.
Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Oakland won 37-29.Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Murray has carried the ball 95 times for 421 yards, a 4.4 average and 3 touchdowns on the year. In comparison to Jets’ running back Chris Ivory, its not even close with Ivory carrying 100 times for 501 yards, a 5.0 average and 4 touchdowns on the year. Ivory has accounted for 24 first downs for the Jets and has hauled in 8 receptions for 74 yards. Murray has accounted for 18 first downs and has 18 receptions for 99 yards in the air this season. Look for the Raiders to try to create some mismatches by getting Murray isolated on one of our Jet linebackers.
Behind Murray, the Raiders bring Taiwan Jones to their run game. Murray has only played in 4 games in 2015 and has been limited in his carries as a result. Jones stats look like this: 10 carries for 65 yards, a 6.5 average, no touchdowns and 3 first downs. Jones only had 3 touches in the run game last week against the Chargers, accounting for 35 yards. He added 2 receptions in that game as well, for 17 yards and an 8.5 average. Jones has talent, but has been slowed with injury, as a result the Raiders’ run attack should not be a huge concern for the Jets’ defense.
The Raiders’ offensive line has played fairly well to this point in the season. They rank in the middle of the pack in run blocking (15th overall) and 5th overall in pass protection by FootballOutsiders.com. This line has given up 8 sacks of Carr in 6 games and the Jets will be looking to increase that number exponentially this week. This line isn’t a bad unit, but the Jets’ defensive front should have no problem handling them on Sunday.
The Jets have the edge offensively on Sunday from where I sit, but they can’t be overlooked. The Raiders have been in every game this season, with the exclusion of their contest against the Bengals. They played head to head with the Broncos, dropping the game by only six points in the end. Denver has an impressive defense of its own, so the Jets should be careful not to overlook this team.
Next: A defense that loves to bring the pressure
Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) forces a fumble by Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) in a NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Browns 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
A defense that loves to bring the pressure
The Raiders have played fairly well this year and it has kept their team in the hunt in every game against them this year with the exception of their opener with the Bengals. The Raiders lost their starting defensive end in the opener when veteran Justin Tuck was lost for the season. While Tuck was a leader on the Raiders’ defensive front, they have hardly missed a beat. This is a talented young group who like to bring pressure, having amassed 11 sacks on the young season.
The Raiders’ defensive front boasts three former first round picks in Dan Williams (2010), Khalil Mack (2014) and this year’s pick Mario Edwards. Joining them on the line, they have a former fourth-round pick Justin Ellis at nose tackle. The loss of Tuck early in the season has given these young players time on the field and they are making the most of their opportunities. The Raiders have depth along the line, and this unit will get better as the season goes on. The front is formidable and playing 4-3 under Jack Del Rio, expect them to test the Jets’ offensive line on obvious passing downs.
Behind the defensive front, the Raiders have outside linebacker Aldon Smith, another former first round pick (2011), leading the way. The Raiders’ middle linebacker is a former second-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons Curtis Lofton (2008) and filling out the linebacker corps is Malcolm Smith. Smith was a former Seattle Seahawk and was the MVP in their Super Bowl XLVIII season of 2013. This Raiders’ linebacker corps have played below expectations, with M. Smith running around trying to do everything for them. Neither Lofton or A. Smith have tackled well, and if the Jets’ offensive line can get to the second level, things should open up for Ivory and company.
On the defensive back end, the Raiders have a young group of corners being led by veteran Charles Woodson at safety. D.J. Hayden and David Amerson are the starters at cornerback, while safety T.J. Carrie rounds out the starting rotation. The Raiders also hold considerable talent in the depth department with Neiko Thorpe, Keith McGill getting into the mix at corner and Taylor Mays and Larry Asante getting time at safety. This secondary is young, but hasn’t played very well with the exception of perennial NFL star Woodson. The Jets’ wide receivers should have a great day against this bunch!
Next: Final thoughts and prediction
Kingdom; New York Jets coach Todd Bowles at press conference after practice at the Hazelwood in advance of the NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports” width=”850″ height=”611″ /> Oct 2, 2015; Sunbury-on-Thames, United Kingdom; New York Jets coach Todd Bowles at press conference after practice at the Hazelwood in advance of the NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Final thoughts and prediction
Bowles leads his 4-2 Jets out West to face the Raiders in a bounce back kind of game. The Jets should win this game as on paper, they are the better team. The danger in this game is if Bowles allows his team to overlook the game. The Jets are coming off a tough road loss and now have to make the long road trip out West. This is the type of games the Jets absolutely need to win. They can’t let down against the Raiders.
The Jets’ secondary will be challenged, though they certainly should be up to the task. The feature matchup to watch in this game is undoubtedly Revis going up against Cooper. On the other hand, if Nick Mangold can’t go, another position battle to watch will be how well Dakota Dozier holds up against nose tackle Justin Ellis.
The Jets hold the advantage in the run game hands down, with the only real threat coming from Latavius Murray on the Raider side of things. I highly expect the Jets’ defense to shut the running game down early, but Murray may still cause the Jets a bit of a headache in the passing game. The Jets’ offensive line is capable of opening holes against the Raiders’ defensive line and if they can get to the second level, it should guarantee a big day for Jet running backs.
Injuries could be a concern for the Jets, but shouldn’t effect the final outcome. Buster Skrine has a shoulder injury and a hand injury, and he would undoubtedly be missed if he is unable to go this week. Calvin Pryor came up late with a ankle sprain after the Patriots game, and if it were to linger, he too would be missed in the Jets’ secondary. Luckily for the Jets, the secondary is still in good shape depth wise, and even if both aren’t able to go, the Jets’ defensive back end should remain solid.
Mangold’s injury has now been proclaimed to be a muscle injury which he will seek treatment for this week. Bowles didn’t have a prognosis for when he might return, but I’d expect if there is any discomfort come game day, Mangold will sit this one out. If Dozier plays Sunday, the Raiders will try to bring more pressure to bear on Fitzpatrick. As I said in my article on the Mangold injury earlier in the week, Mangold is a key clog in the Jets’ offensive line.
Oct 4, 2015; London, ENG; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs from the line of scrimmage with protection from New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the injury concerns, the Jets clearly can be seen as the favorite going into this contest. They possess the No. 1 overall defense, ranked fourth against the pass and first against the run. The Jets’ offensive line can hold its own against the Raiders’ pass rush and they should have success in the run game as well. Fitzpatrick and his wide receiver corps should have its way with the Raiders’ secondary as I highly expect them to rack up some points.
Bowles and his staff will keep the Jets players focused this week, negating any sort of let down after the loss to the Patriots. Bowles has stated the team will fly out West after Friday’s practice, giving them Saturday to settle in and get accumulated to the time change. I expect this team to come out firing on all cylinders. They want to stay in the thick of things in the AFC East and with the Patriots facing off with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, they’ll need to bring home the victory to stay in pace with the defending Super Bowl champs.
I expect the Jets to win going away as my prediction for this game is a bit out of line with most, the Jets are favored by two points on most lines, but I’m predicting a big win for the Jets, 31-17. They’ll need to keep their heads focused in the game, and not make any mistakes so if they can pull it off, the Jets should easily return to MetLife next week the victors.
How do you see this game? Do you think the Jets will win? What’s your prediction? We here at The Jet Press want to hear your thoughts on this game. Please leave us a comment below so we can talk Jet football!!
Next: Jets might have lost more than just a game