The 6-5 Las Vegas Raiders play at the 0-11 New York Jets on Sunday.
Here are five things the Raiders have to do to win and stay in the AFC playoff hunt:
Play like the better team:
The Raiders embarrassed themselves in a 43-6 loss to the then 3-7 Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. The game got out of hand and the Raiders were simply awful. There’s no way that should have happened. The same thing goes against the winless Jets in this game. The Raiders need to assert their dominance and not mess around again.
One way of showing they are the better team is for the Raiders to start fast. If they can jump to an early double-digit lead, it would calm the Las Vegas sideline and help erase last week’s memory. It would also send a message to the Jets that it is going to be another long day for them. The Jets’ average margin of defeat to winning teams is three scores. Getting out to an early lead shouldn’t be a problem for Las Vegas.
Derek Carr’s ball security:
The Raiders’ quarterback lost three fumbles against Atlanta and he has lost eight fumbles this season on 17 sacks, which is ridiculous. His eight fumbles lead the NFL this year and Carr leads the NFL in fumbles since he entered the league in 2014. Carr has thrown only four interceptions this season, but he is averaging more than one turnover a game because of the fumbles. He must not give the Jets chances,
Don’t help the Jets:
In addition to turnovers, the Raiders had a penalty problem against the Falcons — and for the past few weeks — after not committing many penalties in the first half of the season. The Raiders were penalized 11 times against the Falcons and 19 times total in the past two games. Clearly, that has be fixed this week.
Contain Quinnen Williams:
The Jets are truly awful and look incapable of winning a game, but Williams is a stud. The No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft (he was taken one pick ahead of Raiders’ defensive end Clelin Ferrell) wrecks shop on a regular basis. The Raiders can’t let him take over and get to Carr regularly.