As we all know by now the Raiders did a great job in upgrading their defensive players with experience and drive to win football games over the off season. What surprised me the most about week 1 against the New York Jets was the lack of pressure on Geno Smith through out the entire game.
The only defensive lineman that looked like he was fighting to get to the ball every play was former Houston Texan Antonio Smith. Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley seemed to be pretty much non-existent. Smith on the other hand was showing his ability to read the plays and do his best to clog up holes and put pressure on Geno by himself, but without much help from his fellow defensive lineman the Jets offense ran all over them.
As the second half began I decided I would start counting to see how much time Jets QB Geno Smith had before he had to get rid of the football and it wasn’t good. Oakland’s D-line was giving up 3-5 seconds a pass play for Geno to find open wide receivers or (do what he did all game), which is scramble for the first down.
Once Geno ran for a couple first downs when the Raiders coverage held up effectively, I expected defensive coordinator Jason Tarver to put someone in a spy position to get a sack or at least prevent an easy first down when Geno got loose. That wasn’t the case at all and I hate to keep going back to coaching but I thought this would be a pretty obvious move. What do you do when you have a QB who continues to elongate each drive with his feet? You make sure it stops happening by someone constantly making sure he can’t find space to run.
Geno had tons of space all game which is why I’m surprised the Raiders didn’t get beat much worse. If it wasn’t for the Jets helping Oakland out with stupid penalties and missed opportunities then the Raiders fans would be much more embarrassed going to work on Monday.
I do understand that Oakland’s offense wasn’t helping their D-line out too much by going three and out so much, which can tire out defense players easily but they couldn’t expect too much from a rookie QB who came out hot but dwindled as the game went on. Knowing they (Raiders defensive line) had an inexperienced offensive leader they should have made sure they were trying to make big plays like the Charles Woodson diving interception early in the game. If they had two or three more turnovers like that then the Raiders would have really been taking advantage of the Jets mistakes.
Instead, they still did a pretty good job holding the Jets within striking distance but not creating scoring opportunities of their own. In previous years when the Raiders offense has been sub-par the defense has rallied to get points of their own through turnovers and broken up plays. If veteran defenders like Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley wake up and start putting pressure on opposing QB’s then the Raiders secondary has the talent and ability to make those scoring opportunities happen.