Week 2 Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Oakland Raiders
- QuarterbackWhile the Jets were competitive in Week One against the Bills before falling short, they have too many weak areas to overcome expectations. Josh McCown is a hard-trying professional, but he does not have the weapons to challenge a big-time opponent on the road. McCown can get the job done with his short-passing game, but the Jets are going to have a hard time scoring touchdowns.After a satisfying road victory at Tennessee, the Raiders have a chance to open their home schedule with a blowout win over the Jets. Derek Carr is one of the top quarterbacks in the league and is on the verge of superstardom. He started the season by completing 22-of-32 passes for 262 yards with two TDs and he did not throw an interception. That’s a good jumping-off point for the 2017 season.
- OffenseMatt Forte is an asset at running back, but he does not have enough talent surrounding him to give the Jets a credible ground game. It’s unlikely he will be able to carry the team to respectability, but the Jets’ no-name offense is not destined to failure. Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse have the ability to step up and ignore the critics.Marshawn Lynch is a huge addition to an offense that was already strong without him. In addition to being one of the best power runners in the game, Lynch sets the tone for the entire team with his toughness. Amari Cooper is a big-play receiver who can go downfield and get it, while veteran Michael Crabtree can make the tough catch in traffic.
- DefenseThe defense should be respectable this season, but this group is likely to wear out as the season progresses because the offense is unlikely to carry its end. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has the ability to pressure the quarterback and do a solid job against the run. Cornerbacks Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne are solid professionals who can cover talented receivers.Khalil Mack is the leader of this unit, and the Raiders are capable of making big plays. They gave up a lot of yardage last year and ranked dead last in yards allowed per play, and head coach Jack Del Rio needs to see some improvement if the Raiders are going to have a dominating season. DE Mario Edwards Jr. missed 14 games last year with a hip injury, but he is back and can be a difference maker.
- Special TeamsThe Jets were miserable in special-teams play last year, and it doesn’t figure to get much better in 2017. Jeremy Kerley is ordinary as a return specialist and is not a threat to break long runs. Chandler Catanzaro made 21-of-28 FG attempts last year, but he was 2-of-2 in Week One vs. the Bills.The Raiders have upgraded their return game by adding explosive Cordarrelle Patterson, who starred in that role with the Vikings. If Patterson can get past the first wave, he won’t be caught. Giorgio Tavecchio is holding down the PK slot while Sebastian Janikowski is on Injured Reserve.
The Raiders are likely to flex their muscles early, get the jump on the Jets and win this game in a route. The Jets need a powerful effort from their defense and a solid running game to keep the game close.