On Sunday, the New York Jets (0-1) go across the country to face off against the Oakland Raiders (1-0). The game will be broadcast at 4:05pm EST on CBS.
This season hasn’t gotten off to a good start, as many predicted, but the Jets were able to make the most of their first game in Buffalo, keeping the game relatively close. This game should be nothing like that.
Unlike the Bills, the Raiders are a fellow NFL bottom feeder hoping to score big in the 2018 draft. No, the Raiders are a team that is in a competitive playoff race in a bloodthirsty division. This talented team will come prepared to wipe the floor with the Jets on Sunday.
And that’s essentially what will happen.
Why? Well, for starters, the Jets never play well in Oakland, even when Gang Green is fielding a good team. It’s like the team’s talent vanishes every time they walk into the Coliseum.
It’s almost as if it’s sucked into some sort of… Black Hole.
Putting that fact aside, the Oakland Raiders are simply a much better team than the Jets. They might not have much of a run game (although Marshawn Lynch looked pretty decent last week), but their passing attack is good enough to overwhelm the Jets. The Raiders might have a one-dimensional offense, but I can’t see the Jets secondary matching up well with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, especially when Derek Carr is throwing to them.
This game will be a true test of the rookie safeties and Juston Burris. They looked pretty good overall last week (despite some mistakes by Marcus Maye); if they can look at least decent on Sunday, I’d be more than happy.
Looking at the linebackers and linemen, if these groups struggle like they did against the Bills, it’s not a good sign. The Raiders average-at-best running game should not be able to find success against this group. If they do, then the Jets have more problems than they bargained for.
Furthermore, the linebackers specifically need to step up their game. On the inside, Darron Lee needs to show more ability to cover the tight ends and running backs. This has been a problem since day one, and I don’t expect it to be fixed now, especially not against a team that boasts one of the better tight ends in the league, Jared Cook.
Meanwhile, on the outside, there should be more sacks in this game. Derek Carr, while not unathletic by any means, is not Tyrod Taylor. There were multiple times last week when the Jets just missed Taylor; I think that those will turn into more sacks on Sunday.
On offense, I’d expect much of the same things we saw in Buffalo: inefficiency and incompetence. I think the weak offensive line is going to be dominated by the defensive front of the Raiders that includes Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. I don’t expect much of a run game to develop, especially if the coaches continue to play Matt Forte in front of Bilal Powell.
The Raiders secondary isn’t as intimidating as their line, however, it’s probably just as good if not better than the Bills secondary which was more than enough to handle Josh McCown and the Jets wide receivers.
Final Score Prediction: Oakland wins 31-16
Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this game is even more of a blowout than I’m predicting it to be. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders score 40+ points. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets don’t score a touchdown. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets don’t score at all. The only reason I’m giving them 16 points is because garbage time is a thing in the NFL.
The only player I would even consider starting on the Jets is Bilal Powell, just because of how dynamic he is. If anyone scores for the Jets, it’ll be him. Even so, he’s an RB3 at best in this game. On the Raiders, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Michael Crabtree are poised for big days. Their running backs don’t excite me too much, but, if this game is blown as wide open as I think it will be, they’re bound to get points too. Speaking of points, if you’re looking to stream a defense, Oakland is the D to play this week.
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