By Tom Kiss
The Jets went above .500 with a win at home against the Bengals last week. Granted it wasn’t a total route, but wins are all that matter. On top of that, the defense played very well for a full game, giving up only seven points aided by a questionable catch on the one yard line at the end of the first half. Also, the fact that the Jets won a game in which their starting quarterback threw 3 picks has to have Jet fans feeling good headed into Oakland this week. The Raiders, as usual, are a total mess and this is a big chance for the Jets to start a playoff push. With Kansas City at home next week before a big game in Buffalo, the Jets must stay focused and take games like these against inferior opponents.
When the Jets have the ball:
Defensively the Raiders have not been strong and Brett Favre and the Jets offense could easily have their way this week. Favre really looks like he is getting comfortable with Coles and Cotchery as both receivers are playing stellar thus far. Expect to see Dustin Keller get a little more burn this week as well.
Thomas Jones scored more touchdowns last week than all of last year. Despite this fact, the Jets running game has not been very good so far. Jones has run the ball fairly well, but Leon Washington has been a non-factor on offense so far. With Jesse Chatman back perhaps we’ll see some of him, but the Jets must get the running game going soon.
When the Raiders have the ball:
This defense has played well in spurts all year, but last week was their first complete game. It may have been a big step and could spring some more consistency. Kris Jenkins may have been the biggest addition any team made this offseason. He has single handedly changed the Jets run defense into one of the better in the league.
This defense will pressure Jamarcus Russel as much as possible hoping to force some bad decisions out of the young quarterback. Darren McFadden is a dangerous runner, but with a questionable o-line and the Jet run defense playing the way it has, it could be a long day for the boys from Oak-town.
Match up of the game: David Harris vs. Darren McFadden
Harris has quietly led the Jets in tackles this year and with Jenkins playing in front of him he will look to meet McFadden at the line of scrimmage all day long.
Prediction: NYJ 31 – OAK 10