By Brad Carroll
In no way was the New York Jets’ 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders a surprise. The Jets were decided underdogs, 13.5 points to be exact, and most fans had already prepared themselves for a blowout loss, which is exactly what they got. But it doesn’t make it any less embarrassing.
The Jets did hang tough for nearly a half Sunday, but a muffed punt started the downfall, and the second half was all Raiders, which included a sideline dance by Marshawn Lynch that was the topping on a horrible trip to the West Coast.
After cutting the Raiders’ lead to 14-10 with three minutes to go before halftime, and then forcing a punt to get the ball back in the final two minutes, punt returner Kalif Raymond muffed the catch and the Raiders recovered. Soon the Raiders were in the end zone and the game was over. Just like that. Raymond should never return a punt again, that much is obvious to everyone except possibly coach Todd Bowles, who has no clue how to run a team.
The Jets played better on offense than they did last week against Buffalo, but the defense had another disaster of a game. The defense, remember, was supposed to be the strong part of a weak team, but if they continue to play like this, the Jets won’t win a game this season.
But let’s take another look at our keys to a Jets’ victory and how they actually played out on the field during what turned into a second loss to begin the season.
Did Jets Run The Ball Successfully?
The Jets were terrible in Week 1 against Buffalo, rushing for just 38 yards, while the Oakland defense allowed the Titans to rush for 95 yards in their opening win, so this could have been a perfect opportunity to get the running game going. And the Jets did, on paper, rushing for 126 yards on 25 carries, a 5-yard-per-carry average. That’s great, on the surface. But the numbers are deceiving. First, Josh McCown had four carries for 31 yards, including a 22-yard run, to come in as the team’s second-leading rusher. Second, Bilal Powell had just six carries for 13 yards, which is nowhere near what the team’s biggest playmaker should finish with. Even though Matt Forte actually looked solid, rushing for 53 yards on nine carries, and Elijah McGuire had his moments, with six carries for 29 yards, the Jets didn’t do nearly enough on the ground to make the Raiders actually care about it. The Jets were better on the ground, which is a positive they can take going forward. But it wasn’t what it needed to be in Oakland.
Did Jets Keep Raiders' Passing Game Under Control?
No, not even close. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr picked apart the Jets’ secondary and found receiver Michael Crabtree three times for touchdown passes, picking on Juston Burris. Carr was 23-of-28 for 230 yards and the three scores, easily dissecting the Jets defense. Crabtree finished with six catches for 80 yards. At least the Jets didn’t allow the tight end to beat them this week, as Jared Cook had just four catches for 25 yards. But in no way did the Jets stop the Raiders’ passing game.
Did The Defensive Line Take Over?
The Jets’ pass rush was non-existent, as they didn’t record a sack nor a turnover. Mo Wilkerson played better than he did last week, but still only had five tackles and no impact plays. Leonard Williams wasn’t any better, with just three tackles and did nothing of note. And there is the fact the Jets allowed the Raiders to rush for a whopping 180 yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders averaged 6.7-yards per rush. On two carries alone they allowed 95 yards. The Jets defense is pathetic.