Coming off of a week one win, the Oakland Raiders will play host to the New York Jets in the home opener Sunday. It’s a great opportunity for the Raiders to start their season off 2-0 as the Jets are a rather easy opponent. Now, you never want to overlook the team on the other sideline, after all, there’s a reason the phrase “any given Sunday” exists. This is the NFL and upsets happen all of the time.
That being said, if the Raiders lose to the Jets they will have some serious introspection to do and will need to decide if they are really ready to take that next step.
The Jets are coming off of a week one loss to the Buffalo Bills, another team that is struggling to get better. And while I didn’t watch the game, most of the reports out of New York make it seem like doing so would be a painful experience. The fact of the matter is, many Jets fans are likely rooting for their team to lose this Sunday and every Sunday this year. It’s a team that is in full rebuild mode and a key part of that rebuild relies on being able to draft a franchise quarterback. Thus, the higher the pick the better and ending up with five or six wins could be devastating to that goal.
That being said, you know the players will want to win, so the Raiders simply cannot overlook them. And if they want to come away with a win, here are keys to get that done:
Hopefully, the Raiders offense will be somewhat boring on Sunday. While the Jets defense is the best part of the team, it’s nothing to write home about. They have a couple of decent corners in Morris Claiborne and Juston Burris and two young safeties in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye who were some of the only Jets to impress in week one.
Their front seven, on the other hand? Not very good. There’s really only three names worth noting, Jordan Jenkins, Mo Wilkerson and Leonard Williams. Not a lot need be said about Jenkins besides the fact that he’s a solid linebacker, but nothing special. Wilkerson has a lot of talent but is coming off of a couple down years. Leonard Williams, however, is a real talented young player who the Jets can build their defense around. He’s good in run and pass rush and after a decent rookie season, he really improved last season logging 68 tackles with 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
So what’s the key to a win for the Raiders offense? Avoiding Leonard Williams and the young safeties. And that’s why the offense may be rather boring. With the offensive line playing at an elite level and Marshawn Lynch looking like he never lost a beat, there’s really no reason to put too much on the shoulders of Derek Carr. The passing game should take a back seat and let the run game show that it can dominate a weaker opponent.
Ok, so I lied. Watching Marshawn Lynch run through a MF face is actually pretty exciting, not boring.
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