Yet another week of 'getting the Ballers out of the way' to get to the Busters. That's because it was yet another poor performance from the Raiders. Lately it's been the defense that was the culprit more often than not. You might see that theme this week. Anyway, here are those...
Dennis Allen, Jason Tarver
They had ten days and yet this team was not ready to face the Jets. The same Jets that had scored all of three points in both of their previous two games. They scored four times in six possessions in the first half and on every possession of the second half for a total of 7 times in 9 drives.
Then there was the odd decision to put Terrelle Pryor in the game for the entirety of the Raiders' third possession. Putting Pryor in for a play here and there as a wrinkle is a great idea. Taking out your starter for an entire series is something you don't see unless you are unhappy with their performance and looking for a spark. The Raiders drove for a field goal which made the decision look like a good one. Unfortunately, it messed with McGloin's rhythm and it showed in his play the rest of the first half including throwing the bad interception on the following series.
The blitzes and schemes Tarver has been calling are no longer effective. Opposing offenses have figured it out and are gouging the defense because of it. A few instances in particular stand out. The second third down conversion by the Jets in the second half came on a pass in which there wasn't a defender within ten yards of the receiver when he made the catch. It set the Jets up in first and goal at the 8-yard line and they scored the touchdown two plays later. On the very next third down opportunity, the defense had the Jets in third and nine and Tarver called for a blitz. The Jets were ready for it and called a screen pass that worked like a charm. It picked up 24 yards to set up a field goal. On the next drive, which was the next third down opportunity, Jason Hunter was expected to cover wide receiver Santonio Holmes in zone coverage and it resulted in an easy 10-yard catch on third and 4. The drive was capped off by a 15-yard run right up the gut in which several Raiders defenders missed tackles on the way to the end zone and the Jets had opened another 17-point lead late with a season-high 37 points.
When Geno Smith has his way with you, you have serious issues. On the first drive, Porter was way out of position to give up a wide open 32-yard catch to set up the Jets' field goal to take the early lead. Jenkins got their next scoring drive started by gambling and going for the interception but misjudging the pass to give up a 30-yard catch. Two plays later, Porter gave up Smith's first touchdown pass in two months from 25 yards out. The next drive, Jenkins gave up two catches for 17 yards including an 8-yard catch on third and five. Porter finished giving up three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Jenkins gave up four catches for 52 yards. Those seven catches were the only by wide receivers in this game.
Jason Hunter, Lamarr Houston
As a starting defensive end, one should either have run stops or pass rushes or both. These two barely registered in either column. They had one solo tackle and one pressure between the two of them. While Hunter was nearly invisible most of the game, Houston was visible for the wrong reasons. Hunter was out of position on a 10-yard pitch play near the end of the first half and was frozen in the zone on a 10-yard catch on third and four on the Jets' final touchdown drive.
Houston had an eventful first drive of the second half. On the third play of the Jets' drive, Geno Smith scrambled up the middle and when he slid, Houston dove to hit him which drew the obvious personal foul penalty. It immediately set the Jets up in scoring range. A few plays later, with the Jets at the 8-yard line, Geno used his legs again. This time Houston bit on the play fake inside and Smith was gone for the touchdown to take the 17-point lead right back at 27-10.
Olawale had two key mistakes in this game. The first was a drop on third and seven which killed the Raiders chance of scoring off an interception in the first quarter. It should have been a first down or at very least a few yards closer but instead forced a 52-yard field goal which Sebastian Janikowski missed. But that paled in comparison to his other mistake. Late in the first half, Marquette King set up to punt and Olawale completely missed a free rusher up the middle and he blocked the punt. It was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. That's a ten point swing thanks to Olawale - which was the difference in the game.