After comparing the elements, it becomes obvious what the Jet's will attempt against the Raiders.
Oakland has a top notch ground game (currently ranked 4th); NYJ has a top notch Rush Defenses - also ranked 4th. Our rush offense and their rush defense basically neutralize and there is no clear advantage.
Oakland's passing game has taken off. Jason Campbell is now stepping into his throws and revealing deep ball strength and accuracy (!). The rookie Denarius Moore and FA Derek Hagan came out of nowhere to complement Campbell and together ignite the Raiders' passing attack. On the other side, the Jets have two of the best Cornerbacks in the game: D. Revis and A. Cromartie and a generally above average Pass Defense. So, this too is basically a stalemate after taking into account the Jet's DL and our OL.
STs are also a push. Jano has an ailing left foot which makes his opponent, N. Folk, his equal. Cromartie is retuning well but we will answer with Jones or Moore. No punter is better than Lechler which offsets (balances) our weakness thus far returning punts. STs are therefore a draw.
The NYJ's rushing attack is not impressive. It currently ranks 28th. Tomlinson has rushed for 24 yards this season and Shonn Greene for only 75 yds; both RBs average less than 3 yds/ carry. On the other side, Oakland's rush defense, like always, is horrid and (ranking 29th in the NFL two years in a row) now resumes its accustomed place - ranking 27th among the dogs and lice of the league. With the loss of NYJ's stud Center, N. Mangold (replaced by one Collin Baxter) the Raiders rush defense and the Jet's rush offense neutralize each other and this like all that's come before is a wash.
Now we come to the obvious elemental matchup: The Raiders Passing Defense vs. The Jet's Passing Offense. First off, Sanchez is not hitting any of his WRs with great frequency except for Santonio Holmes who has 9 catches (cf. Burress w/4 and Mason w/4). But, Sanchez loves to throw to his TEs especially to Dustin Keller who has 11 receptions and 2 TDs.The Raiders may be able to neutralize Holmes with Routt and Plaxico with either CJ or DVD (but certainly not with Porter). What sways the balance (on paper) is the TE matchups against our Safeties and, most critically, our LBs. McClain has demonstrated ability (when he's not off tilting at windmills) to defend the pass but with a two TE set that brings the LBs closer to the line (for the non-existent Jet's rushing threat) and Groves, Wimbley, Branch and Huff - with their collective pass defense skills, one must objectively conclude that we will get worked in the middle with mid-range passes all afternoon.
Conclusion: the Raiders DL must penetrate the weakened NYJ's OL and put constant unremitting pressure on Sanchez. Doing this gives the Raiders a decent chance at victory, failing this guarantees defeat.
What elemental matchup will determine this game?
How well Oakland's LBs defend the pass (95 votes)
How well Oakland's Safeties defend the pass (69 votes)
How well Oakland's CB's defend the pass (197 votes)
How much pressure our DL brings (532 votes)
893 total votes