Top changes needed by the Jets to beat the Raiders
By Michael Pallas
The New York Jets need to make a couple of drastic changes if they want to leave Oakland with a rare win against the Raiders on Sunday.
Whether it’s at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the New York Jets haven’t been good against the Raiders on the road. In fact, in their first three road games in Oakland, they won (as the New York Titans), and in the 18 meetings since becoming the Jets, they’re 3-14-1 in Oakland/Los Angeles (3-12-1 in Oakland).
In order to come away with a victory in Oakland, the Jets will need to make some changes to their lineup. They may be drastic, but they can help the team immensely.
Move Matt Forte down the depth chart
Running back Matt Forte is making $5 million this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to moving down the depth chart. In fact, his time as a featured player may be over in this league.
It’s time to make Forte the third back in this group. Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire both should be used more. This can accomplish two things.
First, it can open things up in the passing game. Secondly, it may help Forte be fresher in the fourth quarter, as to which he can be more effective.
It’s time for the younger guys to step up and make their mark. They both can be used in tandem in the backfield or one in the backfield and one in the slot. It’s can create some matchup problems for the Raiders.
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Move Darron Lee to outside linebacker
When it comes to being a complete linebacker, Lee is as close to that as the Jets have. Lee’s main problem is that he can’t escape the blocks of guards. So, even though he’s more athletic than they are, he doesn’t have a chance to use his athleticism.
Moving him to the outside also would open things up for the defensive line. Having Jordan Jenkins and Lee on the outside would create some one-on-one opportunities for the linemen. It would also funnel the runs to the middle of the field because Lee can better contain runs to the outside.
Also, it may be prudent for the Jets to do this, given Marshawn Lynch‘s preference to be in the middle. Have stronger guys in the middle may prevent game-breaking runs.
All in all, the Jets have a lot of work to do to beat Oakland on Sunday, and this may be just the start of that goal. However, those two things could help them on their way to a surprise victory.