The Jets and Raiders renewed their age old rivalry by playing in unpredictable AFL style as they often do when they meet. The Jets 37-27 win makes December relevant for now. This W that keeps them alive at 6-7 will make the pain of a three game skid after a bye week go away for some. Not for all of us.
The glass half empty diehard of which there are many, will look at the body of this years work so far as a typical Jets campaign. One that has seen wasted opportunities result in now needing not only a win streak, but scoreboard help as well.
These weren’t the John Madden Kenny Stabler “Raiduhs” run by the great Al Davis. These were the McGloin and Pryor Raiders. A bizarro version of the silver and black that rotated quarterbacks like it was a grade school gym class. The modern day kind where everybody really gets a turn.
In the spirit of Davis though, remaining in the hunt heading into Carolina next week falls under the category of ‘Just Win Baby.’ Better to have even a slight playoff chance than to be playing out the string.
The Geno Watch
Playoffs or not, the primary focus for most Jet fans is whether or not Geno Smith is the future. The Jets entered the bye week with a big feel good win over the Saints. At that point Smith appeared to be a calm young leader who could make plays and emotionally overcome his own mistakes during a game.
Then the three game post bye skid hit and opinions moved towards the notion that Smith was overwhelmed. Not ready.
Now that he has once again contributed to a victory, what’s the new prognosis? From what I saw, granted with sleep deprived eyes, the jury is still out. Many factors helped the Jets offense come to life Sunday. Including Geno himself at times.
The rushing attack: Oakland looked the same as they did on Thanksgiving when they couldn’t tackle Demarco Murray. This time it was the bruising Chris Ivory who got loose and shook off defenders all day.
Less third and longs: The Jets effective run game allowed Smith to be on schedule. There weren’t as many third and longs as in previous contests and the run set up the pass on early downs too.
The OC Showed Up
Marty Mornhinweg mixed it up again after a twenty one day religious jaunt up and down the East Coast. Where he hoped, prayed, chanted, and feebly bowed down at the feet of the impenetrable greatness up front in Buffalo, Baltimore and Miami.
Jeremy Kerley returned and opened up the field for the Jets again. Santonio Holmes held up so he could play a part. As did Kellen Winslow, whose four game suspension slowed early season momentum he was building as the reliable go to for the rookie QB.
Smith used his legs as many loyalists in profanity laced tirades have been imploring him to do. In helpless fashion through their HD living room screens.
Geno’s first TD pass to Kerley? It looked like a touch football toss with a nerf into traffic if you ask me. Hey, it was six points. Nobody wearing green and white was complaining.
Call Todd Marinovich While Your At It
The Raiders were rotating their QBs in the first half. Why? Don’t ask. It’s the Raiders. They live outside the box. Always have.
Add the above factors all up, and you have a team win. If Jets brass still seek a QB who one day can cover up team deficiencies, or help to overcome a difficult opponent, then the info gained from yesterday’s game was not enough to rubber stamp Geno through.
For now, the Raider win allows Geno to better build a case for being in the conversation. Coupling it with another solid few outings this month will really help. Especially if he plays well in Carolina next week.
Rex Ryan: The new Wayne Fontes
How many of you remember Lions HC Wayne Fontes and the countless times he was on the hot seat? Everytime his Barry Sanders era club was on its way to canning the guy who looked like Fred Flintstone, the Lions would string together late season wins or him. Sneaking into the playoffs too.
Fontes was the cockroach after the nuclear attack. Still crawling around. Now consider Rex.
He starts the year a dead man walking. Then gets an opening day win over Tampa who many thought highly of at the time. The Jets disappoint after a loss at home to winless Pittsburgh but then rally with wins over the Pats and Saints. Making Ryan’s job safe, right? Wrong. A three game skid full of blowouts ensue. The seat gets hot again. Thankfully the Raiders then come to town.
Rex has an endearing knack of getting the Jets to win when the world has written them off. Job security will only arrive for good though if he can enjoy prosperity when it presents itself too.
Ed Reed Returns as Allen Shines
Ok so he layed Antonio Cromartie out leading to a Rod Streater TD and was a hair late on a few other interception attempts. Wasn’t the Ed Reed pick nice to see though?
Reed has ball hawked like no other for years. It was exciting to see him step up, read the eyes of his prey, then go in for the kill as a Jet. Not against the Jets.
Antonio Allen the young Jet safety excites us all more and more each week. The kid can cover the great Rob Gronkowski (I hate the Pats too but don’t smirk at Gronk’s most recent injury please. It’s bad form and bad for the sport) with no fear, pick six a Tom Brady, and now make things happen on the punt block team? Wow. That’s a lot of value for a seventh round pick.
We picture Allen learning in the classroom from Reed during the week. Imagine the tutelage going on. The knowledge Allen may be gaining by rubbing shoulders with a legend could be one of the best things the second half of 2013 rears for this franchise going forward.
– Chris Ivory runs like a man.
– Hello police, I’m calling about a missing person. He’s 6’4, pretty fast and sometimes drops the morning coffee. His name is Stephen Hill. Good kid. A little lost. Please return to Florham if you find him. Thanks.
– Demario Davis and David Harris ran sideline to sideline making plays all day.
– Marcel Reece is no muscle bound fullback. He’s a fast big body who is more effective than people give him credit for. That long TD run was too easy but it’s not like Tommy Bohannon went 80 yards up the middle against the Jets run in practice. Sound the alarm siren if that happened. Reece is a real good back. Accept the gaffe. Don’t make it a habit that’s all.
– Are you happy the Jets are still alive or mad they dropped three to lose control of their destiny? I am both. That’s life as a Jet fan. Happy, angry confident and petrified All at the same time.