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For all the Super Bowl talk and two looming games in Baltimore and Foxboro, the Jets should be able to win an easy game against the Raiders right? WRONG. The Jets returned to Oakland, and looked not like a Super Bowl contender, but like a confused team with a lack of identity.
The Jets defense was manhandled all day by the Raiders. On the first drive, they came out and drove 76 yards down the field on five plays to go up 7-0. Darren McFadden tore up the Jets’ “vaunted” rush defense for 171 yards and two touchdowns, proving why he is one of the best running backs in the game right now. The Raiders had 230+ yards on the ground, and Jason Campbell managed a good game for Oakland.
The Jets couldn’t tackle all game as everyone was missing open field tackles that allowed Oakland to break off big plays, the biggest being McFadden’s 70 yard TD run. The only bright spot in the Jets’ defense was Darrelle Revis who had his usual game of shutting down the best receiver, who was Darrius Heyward-Bey this week.
His counterpart Antonio Cromartie, who earlier in the week said he was a better play-maker than Nnamdi Asomugha, was forced to eat those words as he had a horrible game. Committing four penalties, keeping scoring drives alive, and fumbling a ball on a kickoff, which lead to the game-winning score, Cromartie was humbled by the Raiders, who, by the way, don’t have Asomugha anymore. Cromartie eventually left the game with a rib injury and didn’t return.
On the flip side, Mark Sanchez and the Jets’ offense showed flashes of brilliance, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Raiders. Everyone thought the problem going into the game would be the absence of All-Pro C Nick Mangold, but rookie Colin Baxter held up in his first career start as the Jets ran better than they had all season at times.
Sanchez posted a career high with 369 yards, but played a terrible game. He looked jittery in the pocket all game and the few times his receivers were open, he couldn’t hit them. The numbers say Sanchez had a better game than what showed as for two quarters the Jets couldn’t get anything done against the Raiders. Sanchez was sacked four times in the second half and took a lot of abuse.
It was also another bad running game by Jets standards as Shonn Greene only had 59 yards on 15 carries. There were a few runs that got broken, but the Jets struggled with their interior running, and were only able to gain a yard or so whenever they ran up the middle.
The Jets showed life on a late drive by Sanchez and company, marching 93 yards to score, but it was too little too late. The Jets now look ahead to the tough part of their road trip, falling a game behind the Bills, no typo, yes, the Bills, for first place in the AFC East.
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