What is there to say about the second loss the Oakland Raiders had at MetLife Stadium, this time to the hapless New York Jets, by a score of 37-27? Actually I have plenty to say.
I have no clue what the defense is thinking or doing on the field. The fact that the Jets had only 20 points total scored in their last 3 games, and this game they had 30 offensive points says something about a defense that was clicking on all cylinders earlier in the season. To be honest, they haven’t looked good since they were toasted by the Eagles.
The Raiders defense gave up 5 of 7 3rd down conversions in the second half. This includes a play where defensive captain Nick Roach called for a time out on a 3rd and 9 where the defense played absolutely flat footed and allowed a 24 yard screen play. They had the opportunity to create turnovers, but only managed one. They blew a fumble recovery they had in their hands. Charles Woodson let an interception slip through his arms. I can’t count how many times I saw the defensive backs playing 7 yards or more off the line of scrimmage, not even giving a single chuck on receivers starting their routes.
There was only one sack, and that was by Brandian Ross, who is seeing play time because Tyvon Branch is still unable to play. Jets quarterback Geno Smith was hit only 6 times on the 25 pass plays and only 2 of those were by a defensive line man.
In fact, it is my understanding that the defensive line hasn’t had a sack since we played the Houston Texans. That is beyond poor, especially considering the money Lamarr Houston is trying to get to re-sign with us. The aforementioned Houston didn’t even have a solo tackle today. He had a whopping 4 assists.
Our lead tackler, again, was Nick Roach. He was followed by Sio Moore and Kevin Burnett. Burnett had the one and only turnover we created.
Yet today I have been told that statistics are meaningless. I think statistics speak volumes when one looks at numbers like that. It frustrates me knowing we do have talent of defense, yet for the last few games Jason Tarver’s squad has made even the lowliest quarterback look like an all pro. Didn’t he look at what the last 3 teams did defensively to upset Smith and keep the Jets offense off balance? Why couldn’t we have followed suit?
But the defense didn’t fail on its own.
Sebastian Janikowski missed another field goal.
The Jets came up the middle, straight at Marquette King, blocked a punt, and got a TD out of it. That 10 points right, give us the 3 and take away the 7, and it’s a tie game. We know what is said about football being a game of inches and momentum, and those 2 plays alone are shining examples of both.
We didn’t get any great returns on the couple of punts we did force, or any of the kickoff returns. Part of the kick off problem was due to poor blocking. Another failure of the special teams.
Now onto the offense.
Many were perplexed as to why Matt McGloin was “benched” in the first quarter. As Dennis Allen stated that Terrelle Pryor would be seeing play time in the remaining games, this was no surprise.
It took until our 3rd possession, the one Pryor was in at QB, for Marcel Reece to adjust being a running back and finding holes and making use of his blockers. In 3 consecutive plays he was responsible for 25 yards and 2 first downs. It could be that Pryor’s ability to run and being ill prepared to face a mobile qb that loosened up the Jets defense, but whatever it was it worked enough to allow the Raiders to put 3 points on the board.
Now why am I mentioning Reece? Our inactive list included Rashad Jennings, Darren McFadden, and even Jeremy Stewart. I think the loss of Jennings hit our offense the hardest.
Matt followed that possession up with the throwing an interception after a punt went out of bounds at the 2 yard line, add a false start, and we were at the 1 yard line. Trying to fit a ball in, McGloin threw an interception. With 1st and goal, I know I was convinced that they would get a touchdown. It was one of the few times the defense stepped up, and allowed only a field goal.
It was the 3rd quarter the Oakland offense finally came alive.
The 2nd play from scrimmage after the half time break, we scored a TD on a 63 yard Reece run. Sadly the defense allowed a TD, with help from a dumb move by Houston hitting a sliding QB, giving them 15 yards.
The Raiders offense followed that drive up with another touchdown drive. The defense gave up a field goal.
The Raiders offense matched that field goal. The Raiders defense gave up a touchdown.
The Raiders offense put up another touchdown. They had a chance at recovering the onside kick, but Burnett couldn’t hang on to the ball, and he allowed a gap for the ball to be pulled from him.
We didn’t really have time to comeback with only 2:24 left, but I would have liked to have the chance. Instead they were able to burn clock, and we didn’t get a real shot.
When the offense puts up 27 points, I expect more from the defense.
We aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the thought of us winning another game seems inconceivable when we can’t get all squads to perform in the same game.
It was the youngest squad, the offense that did what it needed to do to pull out a win. They had the balls to not give up, not give in, and show no quit. Andre Holmes, Rod Streater and Mychel Rivera all did well, accounting for 214 of the Raiders 265 receiving yards. Reece? He was responsible for 161 of the Raiders 383 yards. Yeah the young guys did well.
We have played games when the defense kept us in the game, and the offense didn’t do their jobs, but this game, while there was plenty of errors, I have to look at the defense. To quote Charles Woodson the defense “looked like the Bad News Bears out there. We peed down our leg.”
That sums it up.
Win, lose, or tie, RAIDERS til I DIE!