The New York Jets head into Oakland, where they haven’t won since the Mark Sanchez hot dog game, to face a Raiders team that is considered one of the best in the NFL and is coming off of a big win against everyones sleeper pick, the Titans. I take a look at the position comparisons between the two teams and give my nod to the better team at each position.
This one’s a no brainer (like most of this games positional comparisons will be) and it’s Derek Carr. Carr is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and he’s facing a Jets defense that couldn’t stop anything. He gets rid of the ball very quickly which does not bode well for the Jets’ lackluster cornerbacks and their non existent pass rush. The Jets play calling does no services to Josh McCown and even if they called the perfect offensive game, he would still be miles behind Carr.Running Back: Raiders
Until the Todd Bowles decides to give the damn ball to Bilal Powell, every team they play will have the advantage at this position. It also helps the Raiders to have Beast Mode in the backfield. What do we set the over under for broken tackles? 12? 13?
Wide Receivers: Raiders
Amari Cooper alone is better than the entire Jets receiving corps. Throw in Michael Crabtree and their receivers are leaps and bounds better than the Jets’. They both provide vertical threats and while both are prone to drops, both can break open a game with just one catch. Robby Anderson is already complaining about not being thrown the ball and while Jermaine Kearse was the Jets best receiver in Week 1, it’s going to be hard to do much of anything when John Morton limits the passing plays to under 10 yards.Offensive Line: Raiders
The Raiders have one of, if not the, best offensive lines in football. They don’t have to protect for long because of Carrs ability to get rid of the ball quickly and Marshawn Lynch doesn’t need much of a hole to break a big run. The Jets offensive line didn’t play bad against the Bills but they didn’t play good either. They still aren’t very good and they have a big test in containing Khalil Mack Sunday.
Tight End: Raiders
It’s not by much but I would rather have Jared Cook over Will Tye. The Jets did a good job at utilizing Tye last week, albeit only for 3 receptions for 34 yards, but compared to past years that’s a huge step (not saying much). The Jets could end up winning this battle because of how bad the Raiders are at stopping opposing tight ends but I wouldn’t bet on it.Defensive Line: Jets
I’m giving the edge to the Jets in this one (they have to have something better right?). Aside from Mo Wilkerson, who continues to show minimal effort, the Jets defensive line is still really good. They are going to have the tough task of stopping Marshawn Lynch Sunday. The Raiders defensive line played well against the Titans, which says something considering they were one of the worst at both stopping the run and rushing the passer last season.
The Jets linebackers were unable to cover anybody last week. Darron Lee slimmed down and got faster but he was still same old Darron Lee. Demario Davis makes David Harris look like a first ballot Hall of Famer. The Jets linebacking core has always been a point of weakness on the team and this year is no different. Khalil Mack instantly makes this linebacking core better. Expect him to have a big day against the Jets offensive line.
The Raiders secondary is very prone to giving up big plays. However they didn’t last week. They gave up three passes of 20+ yards against a quarterback in Marcus Mariota who can and will make those throws. If the Jets were smart they would test this secondary early and often to try. They have speed with Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse has proven he can beat guys deep.
On the Jets side, the two rookie safeties played well for their first real live game action. The cornerbacks didn’t play all that bad but they didn’t play all that great either. What the Jets got beat on was more of underneath throws and missed tackles than anything. Derek Carr will test the Jets secondary more than Tyrod Taylor did and with better weapons than Taylor as well.
Special Teams: Raiders
Neither kicker missed a field goal last week (a combined 6-6) so this comes down to punting and the return game. The Raiders have Marquette King who is a phenomenal punter and the Jets have Lachlan Edwards who is not. Cordarrelle Patterson still has the ability to break open a game with one return.
Head Coach: Raiders
Todd Bowles has been making the same mistakes for three straight years now. Not using timeouts when he should, bad game management, not playing players who should be playing, etc. He has a lot of improving to do in what might be a very short amount of time.
Photo Credit: newyorkjets.com