Every team looks to start a new season 1-0. The Raiders accomplished that with their 26-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans. They are hoping to follow that up with a win in their first home game of the 2017 season. If the odds makers are correct, they will accomplish their goal, though don’t tell that to Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio.
The Raiders certainly have the advantage in talent and have every reason to be confident in their chances of winning this game. The Jets are going to show up to the game and are going to field a team with NFL caliber players. The Raiders are going to have to earn this win and these are the keys to making that happen.
Control the defensive line
When a team can trade a player like Sheldon Richardson and have the defensive line continue to be the strongest unit on their team, they have some serious talent. Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson form one of the best tandems of interior linemen in the NFL.
Preventing them from forcing interior pressure on Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr will be vital to the Raiders offensive successes. Pressure up the middle prevents a quarterback from stepping up into the pocket. This can throw the timing of routes off and lead to incompletions or turnovers. This play from their game against the Buffalo Bills is a great example of their ability to dominate offensive linemen.
Williams overpowers the right guard putting him on the ground. Raiders guards Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele are also one of the best duo’s in the NFL. They will be tested in this match up.
The Jets looked like they were worried about Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s ability to escape the pocket and were not as aggressive in their pass rush as they have been in other games. Do not expect them to play as conservatively this week. Carr has the athletic ability to scramble but is much more of a pocket passer.
The Raiders offensive lines ability to control the line of scrimmage will be the biggest factor in deciding the outcome of this game. If Derek Carr has time to read the defense and allow the vertical routes to develop, he will pick this secondary apart.
Inside zone runs
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch averaged 4.2 yards per carry gaining 76 yards on 18 carries. He did not get in the endzone, opting instead to score his first touchdown wearing the Silver and Black at home, in Oakland. These stats are not reflective of how effective he was in hammering the Titans defense.
Lynch’s running style will aid the offensive line in their effort to enforce their will over the talented defensive line. The Jets defense had a problem stopping one of Marshawn’s favorite running plays, the inside zone. Both of these runs were from the Bills opening drive.
The Jets defensive line is built for power. When they were tested to move horizontally they lost gap discipline, Lynch will find the holes in their pursuit and hit them with force. If Marshawn gets going, it will be a long physical game for the Jets defensive front.
Attack on defense
The Raiders coaching staff opted to play Marcus Mariota rather conservatively playing mostly zone coverages with very little blitz pressure. They wanted the secondary players keeping their eyes on the quarterback to prevent him from hurting them with his legs. Josh McCown does not pose the same threat.
McCown does not possess great arm strength and relies on timing routes to move the offense. Disrupting this timing will limit the offenses effectiveness. The offensive production in the Jets first game will not end in many victories. They managed 176 yards passing averaging 4.4 yards per pass. They only gained 38 yards rushing at 2.5 yards per carry.
Clamping down on their receivers while sending pressure will create turnovers. McCown loses field awareness when under duress and will throw up passes that should not be thrown. These were back to back drive ending interceptions from week one.
Throwing late and into double and triple coverage will not end well for the quarterback. The Raiders have a talented defensive front and will be able to pressure McCown, the secondary has to be excited about plays like these. With the Raiders offensive prowess, this game could get out of hand quickly if the Jets commit turnovers.
There is a talent difference between these two teams, but the Raiders are not just going to simply show up and be awarded the win. Controlling the line of scrimmage while forcing the defensive line to maintain gap integrity will open up things up for Carr and the Raiders offense. Attacking McCown and the Jets offense will shut down the short and intermediate passing game while creating turnovers. This is a game the Raiders should win and if they accomplish these key objectives, they will.
Who will win this game?
This poll is closed