On Sunday the New York Jets take on the Oakland Raiders out in the Oakland Coliseum (4 pm EST). The Jets are coming off of a dominating victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Raiders are trying to bounce back from a demoralizing loss to the Buffalo Bills. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game from the Jets perspective.
Offensive line play- The Jets will be without center Nick Mangold on Sunday which will put the offensive line in a tough spot against a physical Raiders defensive front. Gang Green’s line must find ways to control Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly in order to protect quarterback Mark Sanchez and establish the running game. I would not be surprised to see the Jets use the quick passing game or the shotgun formation to offset a pass rush if it becomes consistent. Keep an eye on right tackle Wayne Hunter who has had some early struggles.
Expose Raiders secondary- The Jets want to ground and pound the Oakland defense, but they may have to open up the passing game in order to do so. Oakland’s secondary is prone to give up big plays and the Jets should attack with the passing game in order to open up the rushing attack. I would not be surprised to see the Jets feature Plaxico Burress and or Derrick Mason early on. Mark Sanchez may also look to tight end Dustin Keller to loosen up the defense as well.
Stop McFadden- The Oakland Raiders offense begins and ends with running back Darren McFadden. The star running back has 222 rushing yards on the season and leads the Raiders with 8 receptions. The Jets defense must contain McFadden and will need all of the perimeter defenders to shed blocks and make tackles. McFadden can break a long run at any moment therefore tackling will be at a premium. Also keep an eye on running back Michael Bush who can move the pile as well.
Hit Campbell- Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell is off to a good start and is making some big plays down the field. The Raiders like to use their speedy receivers to open up their deep passing attack therefore the Jets must get hits on Campbell. If Gang Green’s defense can generate a consistent pass rush and get to Campbell early they should be able to shake his confidence and disrupt the rhythm and timing of the passing game.
Many experts are predicting the Jets to lose this game as there are major concerns with the Mangold injury. While I agree the loss of Nick is huge, I think the Jets have enough talent to overcome it. I expect this to be a tough, physical game but in the end the Jets defense will prevail and come up with some huge plays. Jets 24-17