The NY Jets were the toast of the NFL for the first 3 weeks, talks about their new QB being the next Joe Namath, their new brash coach, and a swagger that they took into New England and beat their divisional nemesis. Since then, they’ve lost 3 close games, 2 in their division and now are in panic mode. Conversely, with an upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Oakland Raiders come in with some momentum and belief that they have started to right their ship. Will the Raiders continue the Jets downspiral with another spirited effort, or will the Jets get themselves on track this Sunday?
Another week, another tough defense for the Raiders to face. The Jets will bring blitzes at JaMarcus Russell from every angle. The Jets have allowed, though, an average of 115+ yards of rush per game and are one of the most penalized defenses in the NFL. The Raiders run game must account for 125-150 yards, and JaMarcus must get his wide receiving group involved early to take advantage of the aggressive nature of the Jets defense and get some penalties and convert 3rd downs.
The Jets are going to rely on the run; Mark Sanchez is showing that he is only a rookie that has played about 20 college and pro games TOTAL! The Raiders need to look at how they disrupted the Eagles last week by bringing pressure and do that double for a QB that is nowhere in same league as Donovan McNabb. The Raiders need to put 8 in the box, stop the Jets run game, and bring pressure from those same 8 to force turnovers.
The Raiders special teams did great stopping the Eagles special teams last week and will face another good unit with Leon Washington. This game will be a field possession game with both offenses struggling overall, so a big punt or kickoff return could be a game changer this week.
Was last week a mirage? The effort that the Raiders played with has not been seen in a long time against a top opponent, and with the legal issues against Tom Cable now behind them, I see the Raiders bringing that same aggressiveness and attitude as last week. I see one big play coming from the passing game this week which will change the course of the game…
Prediction: Raiders 17 Jets 10