One of the primary talks of this off-season was the need to win the AFC East, to avoid a three game road trip being the road to the Super Bowl. Today the Buffalo Bills, who must now be taken seriously as s contender knocked off the New England Patriots, giving the New York Jets an early opportunity to gain a game on them. Unfortunately, the Jets squandered that opportunity with an ugly performance in Oakland that resulted in a 34-24 loss.
After an initial punch in the mouth that put them down 7-0, they seemed to regain their balance after going ahead 17-7. Yet a huge run from Darren McFadden set the tone for the Raiders to come storming back to take a 31-17 lead. Despite a late comeback attempt, the Raiders did hold on.
Where to start? Antonio Cromartie and his bonehead play on kick return? Not only did he drop a line drive, instead of falling on the ball, he tried to pick it up resulting in a lost fumble. He left this game with injured ribs after being called for 4, yes 4 penalties. The officiating was an atrocity in this game but 4 penalties and a fumble is inexcusable. Overall it was a poor performance from the defense who allowed McFadden to run all over them, generated no pass rush, and couldn’t come up with any big plays.
The offensive line was terrible in the second half, making Mark Sanchez rattled. His stat line will look pretty in this one, as he threw for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns but this wan’t his best effort. He had another bad interception and was shaky in the pocket. The offense must also find a better way of getting their starting receivers involved. Plaxico Burress didn’t get going until late and Santonio Holmes only had 1 reception.
There was also poor coaching at the end of the game, as the Jets should have had the field goal team ready so they would have a shot for an onside kick. Instead they ran a play and Sanchez came up short on his scramble. Overall, it was just an ugly, uncharacteristic meltdown. Unfortunately there is no time for a pity party with Baltimore and New England coming up on the schedule.