OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
I am officially back. Sunday I did not get to see the game live, but I finally caught the tape today. BN did a great job recapping Sunday's game so there is no reason for me to go too far in depth. I just have a few passing thoughts about the loss.
- That was nowhere near as bad as I was bracing for. I was expecting to see the Raiders consistently blowing the Jets off the ball on offense. Instead what I saw was the Jets defense competing pretty well with a few uncharacteristic catastrophic breakdowns, guys failing to contain, getting out of position, and missing tackles. Against most teams, blowing a few plays means first downs. Against a guy who can finish like Darren McFadden, it means catastrophe. I am sure Rex Ryan will fix what is wrong. McFadden got 114 yards on 3 of his carries. Denarius Moore added 23 on an end around the Jets messed up containing. Oakland's other 28 rushes averaged 3.4 yards. This was not like the AFC Championship Game where the Steelers ran it down the Jets' throats for consistent big chunks of yardage. It was frustrating, but not disheartening.
- It seemed like the Jets did not really attack Jason Campbell. They seemed to respect the speed of his receivers and play coverage. As a result, the team's inability to generate pressure without blitzing showed itself to be an issue once again, but the Jets accomplished their mission. Campbell averaged less than 6 yards per pass attempt.
- The offensive line did not look great. Wayne Hunter looked improved. If he plays that well with Nick Mangold in there when the Jets can afford to give him more help, the line can probably get by. The issue is playing an undrafted rookie in my book. Colin Baxter did not do anything hideously bad, but I think he is more a part of the problem than the solution. When the center constantly needs help, it weakens the entire line.
- I am really liking the job Brian Schottenheimer is doing so far. The Jets really schemed around their issues up front. In the first half, there were lots of bootlegs, moving pockets, and screens. They tried to get Shonn Greene to the edge and took advantage of the linemen's mobility. These guys are having trouble getting a straight push, but these guys are nimble. When the Raiders adjusted in the second half and snuffed things out, Schottenheimer had to become more conventional. You cannot blame the problems on him. The coaching was what got the Jets off to a hot start. The fiasco in Pittsburgh obscures the way Schotty improved near the end of last season. Perhaps he is growing into his job. Then again, maybe he just finally has the team where using the deception he loves makes sense.