First a few updates:
1. Jerricho Cotchery, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, and Damien Woody remained out of practice today. I wouldn’t expect Smith or Sheppard to go on Sunday, while Cotchery remains questionable and Woody is expected to start. Donald Strickland is finally expected to return after missing the past 4 games to the nickel role on defense.
2. Rex Ryan said the Jets had an excellent practice today, which culminated with a competitive two minute drill that ended with a Mark Sanchez to Wallace Wright touchdown pass. I might be excited about that if this was training camp.
3. Turn On The Jets TV’s new episode will be airing later in the day and I can tell you in advance that it is good stuff. The production crew aka my roommate Corbett, stepped up this week.
4. A reminder that I am always open to suggestions for new content/article ideas on the site. I am constantly trying to tinker with every page and thoughts for articles. Hopefully, we will be able to put together a few more interviews and continue to update/improve all the different pages.
5. Richard Seymour predicted today that the Raiders would be making the playoffs this season. The Raiders certainly appear to be a more confident team after their upset of the Eagles. Sunday is a dangerous game for the Jets, very dangerous.
6. Let’s bring it home tonight Yanks.
Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Five Jets
Jets Offensive Game Plan: Run. Run. Run. And when in doubt…run the football some more. Oakland has struggled with their rush defense and is currently ranked 29th in the league in yards allowed on the ground. They are slightly better in pass defense and are currently ranked 20th in the league in yards allowed through the air. Their secondary is filled with talented playmakers like Nnamdi Asmougha and Michael Huff, who has 3 interceptions already this season. They can also get after the passer with Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis who have combined for 8 sacks. The Raiders have 17 total sacks on the season, which is more than three times as many the Jets have (5). All this means the Jets need to go to their running game early and often and stick to it throughout the entire game. Last year Thomas Jones went off for 159 yards in Oakland and Leon Washington chipped in a rushing touchdown. There is no reason the two of them shouldn’t combine for 40-45 carries on Sunday.
When the Jets do need to pass, Brian Schottenheimer and Mark Sanchez need to keep it simple. With or without Jerricho Cotchery, the Jets need to spread the ball around because Braylon Edwards will likely be matched up with Asmougha. It is on Schottenheimer to call some receiver screens, tight end screens, and running back screens along with quick hitches and slants early in the game to get Sanchez rolling. It is on Sanchez to hit those throws and then check down to his running backs or the throw the football away on deeper throws when the primary receiver isn’t open. Oakland is going to load the box up and play man coverage, which doesn’t mean you have to bomb the ball. You can throw a quick screen to a guy like David Clowney and see if he can shake a tackle or get a block from another receiver to create a big play.
Jets Defensive Game Plan: Oakland likes to run the football on offense with Michael Bush and Justin Fargas, since Darren McFadden has been injured. Bush is a power back who is difficult to tackle 1 on 1 and Fargas has hurt the Jets in the past. It is on the Jets front seven, minus Kris Jenkins to stop Oakland on first and second down, forcing JaMarcus Russell into third and long. Russell is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who could make Mark Sanchez feel good about his stats. He has only thrown 2 touchdowns this year to 6 interceptions and has problems fumbling the football. The Jets have to get in his face to force him into quick decisions.
The Raiders best pass catching option is tight end Zach Miller, who leads the team in receptions and yards. He hurt the Jets last year so I am interested to see how Ryan chooses to cover him. Oakland is pretty weak at receiver, so this might be the type of the game where the Jets lock into man coverage and send as many people at Russell as possible. Rookie Louis Murphy is their top wide receiver but likely doesn’t merit being shadowed by Darrelle Revis on every play. Top draft pick Darius Heyward-Bey has struggled to catch the ball all season and has only recorded two receptions.
Special Teams: I still can’t believe Janikowski made that 57 yarder last year to beat us. Jay Feely hit a huge 52 yarder last year in Oakland to send the game into OT. Leon Washington has had a rough year on kick returns so far. The Jets coverage units will be without James Ihedigbo and Marques Murrell who have been placed on the inactive list for one week because of their role in a fight in last week’s game against Buffalo.
Five Requests For Mark Sanchez
1. Check the ball down. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones can make guys miss and turn short completions into key first downs.
2. If Jerricho Cotchery doesn’t start, don’t be afraid to throw the ball to David Clowney or Wallace Wright.
3. Enjoy the warm weather and play like you did at USC.
4. If your first read isn’t open and the pass rush is bearing down on you, throw the ball away. Punts are better than turnovers.
5. Get you swagger back. This franchise can’t afford to miss on the #5 overall pick in the draft.
Remember These Days? Look at the Screens! Look at the Check Downs! Look at Dustin Keller!