NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite beating the Raiders by 10 points last season, the Jets said they came away from the game feeling like they only completed half of their mission.
Oakland ran all over their stout and prideful defense, amassing 150 yards, the most the Jets allowed all season.
Now, with the teams renewing acquaintances Sunday — again at MetLife — in the season opener, the Jets say they are ready to knock the Raiders, and their rookie quarterback, Derek Carr, around.
“Gotta be pure dominance, if (nothing) else,” defensive end Sheldon Richardson told ESPN.com. “Pure dominance. That’s all I can think of right now, just dominating and dominating the run, because this team last year was the only team that ran for over 100 yards (against us).”
Fullback Marcel Reece did most of the damage for the Raiders during the 37-27 loss, rushing for 123 yards and a touchdown, but he’ll likely be a secondary concern on Sunday because Oakland still has veteran running back Darren McFadden and went out and signed veteran Maurice Jones-Drew during the offseason.
Jones-Drew, 29, has slightly more than 8,000 yards rushing, a 4.5-yard-per-carry average and 335 receptions during his first eight NFL seasons.
Of course, none of that may matter because the Jets have been one of the best against the run for several years. If Carr doesn’t adapt quickly to an NFL pass rush and coverage, it could be a long afternoon for the silver and black. The 36th overall pick in this year’s draft out of Fresno State is the only rookie starter at quarterback in the league, and will be going up against arguably the best defensive line in the league, a bunch of players who have no problem saying how good they think they are.
“Do I think we have the potential to be (the best)? Yes, I think we have the potential to be the best,” Richardson said. “Do we have the potential to stay the best? That’s the way we’re trying to keep it.”
The Jets’ front seven consists of Richardson, the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, end Muhammad Wilkerson, who may be the the team’s best overall defensive player, behemoth run-stuffer Damon Harrison, athletic outside linebacker Quinton Coples, veteran middle linebacker David Harris, one of the NFL’s top tacklers, up-and-coming outside linebacker DeMario Davis and reliable veteran linebacker Calvin Pace, who is coming off a career-high 10-sack season.
To make matters potentially worse for opponents, the Jets signed veteran pass rusher Jason Babin during the offseason, and could get pass rush specialist Antwan Barnes back from injury at some point during the season’s first half.
The Jets have won seven of 10 games against rookie quarterbacks under head coach Rex Ryan. Despite his team having many issues at cornerback, Ryan has developed a reputation as a master tactician, a coach who finds ways to disrupt quarterbacks, regardless of their experience level.
“We lick our chops against every quarterback, not just rookies,” Davis said. “We lick our chops against anybody who is trying to move the ball on us.”
Carr beat out veteran Matt Schaub for the Raiders’ starting job, but Richardson said by the time late Sunday afternoon rolls around he might wish he hadn’t.
“This is his first official game, he’s the starter and it’s the NFL,” Richardson said. “That’s a big plate to handle.”
The Raiders, who have not had a winning season since going 11-5 on their way to a loss in the Super Bowl during the 2002 season, lead the all-time regular season series between the long-time AFL rivals, 21-16-2. The Jets, however, have won five of the last seven meetings. The teams have also split four playoff matchups.
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