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New York Jets Might Want to Exploit Short Passing Game Over Runs Against Oakland Raiders

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets leaves the field after the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets leaves the field after the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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While I am concerned with the Jets' ability to run the ball this week, I think there is an alternative to keep the offense effective, the short passing game. It is quite possible to control the ball and gain small positive chunks of yardage with an effective short passing attack. The way the Raiders have played defense the first two games makes them look susceptible to this kind of attack.

Watching those games, it is striking to see the kind of cushion allowed underneath, particularly short passes outside the numbers. In many instances, these areas have been vacated, and a check down completion has been almost automatic.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders are allowing over 80% of passes to be completed outside on passes between one and ten yards past the line of scrimmage. They average just under nine yards per attempt. Even when Oakland's defense was playing a very good game at Denver in the opener, these spots were open.

It is entirely possible Oakland will adjust defensively, but that might mean leaving its defense more vulnerable to Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, or Dustin Keller getting deep. This is an area to exploit with backs and tight ends until Oakland adjusts. It produces the added advantage of getting the ball out of Mark Sanchez's hands quickly and perhaps slowing down the pass rush a bit.