Sunday, prior to the Raiders season opener, I laid out the things to watch for aka the keys to the game. Let's take a look at how the Raiders performed in each of those areas.
Derek Carr had his first start. How'd it go?
It's important to note first off, this failure doesn't fall squarely on Derek Carr. The game plan and how he was utilized is on the coaching. They share this failure. That being said, things started out well. Carr began the game 7 for 7 with a touchdown. That touchdown came on a short field at the 28-yard line thanks to a Charles Woodson interception. It took six plays to do it, but Rod Streater hauled in a pass behind the line of scrimmage and took the edge to score from 11 yards out. After his 7 completions, Carr was locked down until the game was lost. He made a valiant drive late in the game to pull within a score, but between that and how he started he went 9 for 20 (45%) for 37 yards (4.1 yards per completion) with eight-straight punts.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan takes a lot of pride in his blitz packages. Derek Carr is a rookie and it was going to be a tall order for him to recognize those blitzes and break them.
Well, passing against the blitz he was 8 of 16 (50%) for 36 yards (4.5 yards per completion) and a touchdown. He was nearly intercepted on one of those incompletions and was sacked once as well. His one touchdown pass was the pass behind the line to Rod Streater who received a couple nice blocks to give him the edge and he ran it in from 11 yards out.
Running in place
This one was about whether the Raiders could manage to establish any kind of running game against the Jets stout rush defense.
The Raiders amassed a grand total of 25 yards rushing in this game. Maurice Jones-Drew in particular averaged 1.2 yards per carry with a fumble. He was constantly under pressure and couldn't break free, giving him a 1.0 yards after contact average. He had one 12 yard run. On his remaining 8 carries, he had a total of -1 yard. It's pretty bad when Darren McFadden's 4 carries for 15 yards (3.8 ypc) actually looks decent. Marcel Reece added one carry for no gain.
Geno in a bottle
It was key for the Raiders to keep Geno Smith bottled up and force him to make tough throws.
They did neither of those things. Smith went 23 for 28 for 221 yards and a touchdown. A total of five incompletions says by itself there weren't many tough throws. Early on the Raiders forced two turnovers, one led to a Raiders touchdown, the other kept the Jets from scoring, but it got out of control from there. Smith added 10 rushes for 38 yards including three scrambles for first downs, two of which were on scoring drives.
Double the Chris
The two-headed monster in New York is that of Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory. Johnson offers the dash, Ivory the bash.
The two combined for 170 yards and a touchdown. Johnson was ahead of the two until Ivory burst through the middle, broke a tackle, and raced 71 yards for the touchdown. It was midway through the 4th quarter to put the Jets up 19-7. So, pretty much the nail in the coffin. Especially considering how the Raiders offense was playing.
The Jets secondary is injury plagued and was ripe for the picking. It was reminiscent of the Raiders secondary last season or even the year before.
Those corners were barely tested. Of Derek Carr's 20 passes, 17 of them came within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. Eight were behind the line of scrimmage altogether. This according to Pro Football Focus. In case you were counting, that's just 3 completions outside ten yards. One of those was the late touchdown to James Jones from 31 yards out. The most vulnerable part of the Jets team was given a pass. Or rather, they weren't hardly given any passes. Great game plan there.
Raiders fans have been dying to see what their team's top pick (5th overall) would do in a real game.
While Khalil Mack was fifth on the team with 6 combined tackles and led the team with two tackles for loss, he didn't register a sack or hurry. He got pressure on Geno Smith on a sack, but failed to take him down. It was only a Sio Moore strip that caused Smith to finally go down.