Jets-Raiders Preview: Gang Green Visits Oakland for the 3rd Time in 4 Seasons

New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders -- Sunday, Sep. 25, 4:05 p.m. EST

Location: O.co Coliseum Oakland, California.

Coverage: CBS and DIRECTV 712, Sirius XM 134.

Who is favored? Jets by 3.5 points.

Record: Raiders lead historical series, 20-15-2. That dates all the way back to AFL days in the 60's.

What happened last time? The Jets stomped the Raiders 38-0 in what I like to call "hot dog gate".

Hue Jackson actually played a clip of Sanchez scarfing the famous hot dog as motivation for his players this week. I'm not joking.

In case you didn't see it, Raiders lost a heck of a (defenseless) game 38-35, allowing 5 (that's five) second half touchdowns, culminating with a fourth down TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to David Nelson in the final minutes of the game.

The Jets are 9 out of their last 11 regular season games on the road.

In the 1968-69 football season, The Jets and Raiders played the notorious "Heidi game" where NBC broke coverage of the game to air the TV film Heidi with the Jets leading 32-29. The Raiders would throw two more touchdowns in the game to win 43-32. Jets would exact revenge in the AFL championship on their way to SB III, winning 27-23.

Friday injury report:

Jets Out: Logan Payne (WR) Wrist, Robert Turner (OL) Ankle, Nick Mangold (C) Ankle. Questionable: Muhammad Wilkerson (DE) Shoulder.

Raiders  Out: Jacoby Ford (WR) Hamstring, Michael Mitchell (S) Knee, Louis Murphy (WR) Groin. Questionable: DeMarcus Van Dyke (CB) Knee.

Let's break it down now.

This is turning into a store brand or knockoff version of the Pats-Colts rivalry.

I imagine for most fans closely following this game, the Jets injuries and questions on the offensive line are the biggest stories heading into the game. For others it's the lack of a running game (cause and effect, in my opinion). For another crowd, a hastily scarfed hot dog caught on camera (that I hope is long digested and gone by now) is the biggest story of the week, which seems like it really wouldn't be notable anywhere else on Earth, but to each their own.

Personally speaking, going into this game I'm thinking about one thing and one thing only: Colin Baxter. I don't see how a Jets fan could be preoccupied with a single other thing heading into week 3. This is NOT a vote of no confidence, just a concern. Baxter is a UDFA who wasn't even really supposed to see game time this year. All the tutelage in the world can't make up for the loss of Nick Mangold. Simply put, if the Jets can adjust, they can win.

Rankings

Offense: After 2 weeks of play, the Jets are 21st overall, 28th in rushing (ugh), and 13th in passing . The Raiders are 12th overall, 4th in rushing, and 23rd in passing.

Defense: The Jets sit at 8th overall defensive rank, 4th in rushing defense, and are 11th against the pass. Not too shabby at all. The Raiders are 25th in overall defense, 27th against the rush, and 21st against the pass. 

Jets X-Factor(s): Dustin Keller and the Jets TE's.

I was initially going to declare Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress to be the x-factors for another week (I'm bound to be right eventually, right?) but I think the Raiders weaker post-Nnamdi secondary will require Oakland to either double up on our outside receivers or to tighten up the safeties. In either instance, opportunities with be plentiful for a young quarterbacks best friend.

The Raiders public position is that they are anticipating the run, and they cite the crushing amount of rushing yards allowed in our last meeting with them as reasoning. Personally, as badly as the Jets may want to, I don't think this is the week where our running game gets off the ground. The Raiders front seven are not without teeth, and they will be playing to the run in order to force Sanchez to beat them. Factor in the woefully depleted offensive line, and I think you can forget about a big rushing day. The good news is that we use Keller, Cumberland, and others on plays that look like they could be runs without really tipping our hand at all. I think in both cases (run fakes and well covered passing downs) TE will be the easiest mismatch to exploit against Oakland.

This game will be decided by: Rex Ryan and Brian Schottenheimer. 

Both teams feature run defenses and physical front sevens.The Jets have a secondary that is quite difficult to match, and the Raiders rank along the bottom of the league in passing. If our defensive line looks anything like last week then I expect the Raiders rushing success (heavily padded by the no defense bowl against Buffalo) to nosedive.

Here's the thing, our offense this season has been about as stagnant it can get. Their defense, at least on paper, is not desirable by any means. I'm not trying to get down on the Raiders, but these are their stats against the Broncos and Bills in two weeks. If you can't keep pace with those teams defensively, something tells me the Jets will have a break out day.

I think the Jets have the stuff to win this game. It's all a matter of how effectively Rex and B.S. use the players. There is no reason why both the rush and the pass can't be effectively utilized against the Raiders defense. But it will take patience from Schotty, as well as playing to our strengths, and not either getting too gimmicky, or falling into a groove (run-run-pass, pass-pass-run). I think our defense should hold sturdy, and if properly coached, there's no reason the Jets offense can't overcome injury and rushing woes to beat one of the lowest ranked defensive teams this year.

Prediction: Jets 20 Raiders 17.

I know I know, you don't like the score that close. Well, it's close to the Vegas line, and I want to give the Raiders a little bit of credit. Our offensive line is battered and paper thin, no matter the matchup this will be no walk in the park. Don't take these guys for granted, GGN.

My record this year: I said the Jets would beat the Jags by 11 points. I was a little off. The Jets won by 29 points. I was off by 1 point in week 1.

Let's put on a good show for all the KISS rejects at O.co Coliseum. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!

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