The Oakland Raiders come into Metlife Stadium on Sunday to face the skidding New York Jets. Both teams have relatively young players starting in key positions, leading to inconsistent play all season. As the Jets playoff hopes continue to fade due to an anemic offense, Oakland is struggling to create a blueprint for their future. Both teams have struggled with inconsistent quarterback play and secondary problems all season, which is often a recipe for disaster. Let’s break down what to watch for in this Sunday afternoon match up.
The Boys Are Back In Town:
Geno Smith has taken a ton of heat, but in reality the entire offense has been a mess. Before Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley’s injuries, many were putting him in the offensive rookie of the year race. This week he will have both Holmes and Kerley on the field at the same time since the fourth week of the season. Stephen Hill has struggled to make an impact and clearly is not ready to be relied on as a main threat. With Holmes, Kerley, and Winslow all on the field at the same time, the Jets can develop a more accurate assessment of Geno Smith and his future with the team – pass protection pending.
Can Milliner Close Out A Game?:
Dee Milliner has been benched throughout many games as he continues to struggle, but continuously starts the following week. Dennis Thurman recently compared Milliner to a starting pitcher in baseball, an interesting analogy. Milliner is experiencing common rookie corner back struggles and deserves a full offseason and training camp before being fully evaluated. On the flip side, he needs to show improvement in the final four games as the only above average quarterback he will face is Cam Newton.
Playoffs or Lose Out For A Better Draft Pick?
The answer to this question is quite simple: neither. John Idzik needs to evaluate every aspect of this team from Rex Ryan to Geno Smith in these final four games. With potentially 12 draft picks in May and up to $50 million in cap space, the Jets will have ammunition to allocate into building a winning roster. The most important part of this process is recognizing who needs to be replaced and who needs to be developed.