A victory over the Jets falls on the back of one man

By now you have heard the hype around the Oakland Raiders and their chances at reaching the post-season a million times over. Even if you scroll down a bit, I wrote a piece on it a few days ago on exactly that. Now let's not get too ahead of ourselves here, the next match-up on the slate is the New York Jets and as easy of a match-up as that sounds it involves a trip across the continent, tasked with going up against the #1 ranked run defense, and a guy by the name of Safety Jamal Adams. Not to forget a quarterback in Sam Darnald who for all intense and purpose looks to be feeling himself again with 6 touchdowns, 783 yards, and only 2 interceptions over the last three games as well as going (2-1) in that stretch. Compile this again with a defense that is very stingy against the run and it could be a tougher day than expected for the boys from the bay.

It all starts up front for the Raiders, the Jets are near the rock bottom in terms of pass blocking giving up 7 sacks in the last 3 games and a whopping 8 against the Jaguars just four weeks ago. The Raiders have been notably searching for a better pass rush and a hopeful replacement for Kahlil Mack the last two years. This may have finally come in the way of Maxx Crosby rookie out of Eastern Michigan who recorded 4 sacks against the Bengals in week 11 and is sitting on 6.5 Sacks for the season. Sure the Bengals are the worst team in the league but with a very comparable offense line to the Jets if you'd believe that. This is the first place the Raiders need to dominate is up front with Crosby as well as Clelin Ferrell and Jonathan Hankins. If the Raiders can force Darnold into making quick decisions that's how you get him seeing ghosts and making poor throws that the opportunistic Raiders defense can capitolize on. They have 8 interceptions this season.

Now for the toughest task of the day and that's going up against the Jets run defense and just defense as a whole. This defense is a lot better than what they put on paper and a victory against them solely rests on the shoulders of quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders have had a lot of success grinding teams down with the 11th ranked rushing attack led by rookie running back Josh Jacobs who has over 900 yards on the ground this season and is a candidate for rookie of the year in a lot of peoples' eyes. This wont be so easy to do against the Jets on Sunday as the Jets rank #1 against the run giving up on average 79.1 yards per game and only 3.0 yards per carry both best in the NFL. Some bright news for the Raiders is that the Jets rank 21st against the pass giving up on average 253.3 yards per game as well as they tend to bring Safety Jamal Adams in the box more often than most safeties to defend the run and help in pass rush. If the Raiders can get a few runs early and are solid on the offensive line I see no problem with some play action over top getting them huge plays taking advantage of the Jets over aggressive defense. This rests on the shoulders again of Derek Carr who quietly is having a great season with over 2400 yards through the air and 15 touchdowns. Carr needs to show a lot of poise in the pocket early knowing getting a rhythm early can help them grind down this defense into the second half. With all that being said I see the Raiders winning on Sunday in a tough one but they prevail 24-17.