By Abraham Gutierrez
The O.co Coliseum in the East Bay will be filled to capacity for an intriguing NFL Week 8 showdown between the (4-2) New York Jets and the (3-3) Oakland Raiders. This AFC East vs. AFC West clash is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET and it can be seen live on CBS Sports.READ MORE: Attorney Says Current Whereabouts Of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's Fiancé, Are Unknown
This game will mark the 45th meeting between these intraconference foes, as the Raiders lead the overall head-to-head series, 23-19-2. However, the Jets come in riding a two-game win streak, and have been victorious in six of their last 8 encounters. The last time they met dates back to last year’s season opener, when the Jets were victorious at home by a final score of 19-14.
Raiders 2015 NFL Season Record
Under first-year head coach, Jack Del Rio, the Oakland Raiders have had a rollercoaster season, as they start Week 8 sitting in second place in the AFC West. Thus far, the Silver and Black is 1-2 at home, 2-1 on the road, 3-2 against intraconference rivals, and 3-2 in its last five games played.
Raiders On Offense
Bill Musgrave is the Raiders offensive coordinator and he has the tall task of trying to balance Oakland’s pass-happy offense. Thus far, the Raiders have relied heavily on the talents of quarterback Derek Carr and rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper. Together, this young duo is planting fear in the hearts of defensive backs around the league.
Having that said, a secondary that has cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie as its leaders will not be intimidated by anyone. But, just because the Raiders prefer to air it out rather than pound the rock doesn’t mean they aren’t a threat in the rushing department.
The two running backs the Jets defense must prepare for are first and second-stringers, Latavius Murray and Taiwan Jones. Murray comes in as the team leader in rushing yards with 421 yards on 95 carries and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jones has gotten off to a slow start, tallying just 65 yards on 10 carries and no scores.READ MORE: Teen Stabbed To Death After Dutchess County High School Football Game, Former Student Charged
Raiders On Defense
Defensively, the Raiders are under the tutelage of defensive coordinator, Ken Norton, who’s found a way to turn this defense into a formidable run-stopper. Unfortunately for Raiders fans, that’s where the good news end, as this defensive group has struggled significantly in every other category.
With seven weeks in the books, the Oakland “D” ranks 21st in the league in points (25.5), 26th in total yards per game (388.2), and their worst area is against the pass, where they rank last in the National Football League surrendering 303.8 yards per contest. Those statistics clearly indicate that the Jets gameplan should revolve around a heavy dosage of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, along with wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
Raiders Players To Watch
On the offensive side of the football, the Jets defense will have to find a way to put pressure on Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. In his sophomore year out of Fresno State, the former two-time All American has proven to be light-years ahead of most second-year players. Carr comes into Week 8 having completed 66 percent of his passes, hitting his target on 127-of-193 attempts for 1,460 yards, 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Raiders players to watch consists of a one-two punch of outside linebacker Malcolm Smith and defensive end Khalil Mack. In terms of tackles, Smith leads the team with 51 tackles, while Mack is sixth in the club with 21 tackles. However, what makes these guys dangerous is their ability to dump opposing quarterbacks. In that department, Smith and Mack are the team leaders, each having registered 3 tackles on the season.
Jets vs. Raiders 2015 NFL Week 8 Betting Odds
If NFL Week 8 betting oddsmakers are correct, the visiting team is actually expected to come out on top when the O.co Coliseum clock hits triple-zeros. Opening NFL point spreads indicate that Gang Green [-2] is listed as favorites by a safety over the Silver and Black [+2], and the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 45 points scored.MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Carmine's Hostess Attacked After Asking Tourists For Proof Of Vaccination
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.