5 Bold Predictions for Oakland Raiders' Week 14 Matchup
The Oakland Raiders' Week 14 matchup sees them traveling to New York for the second time in the 2013 season, this time taking on the struggling Jets.
The Raiders have had a number of disappointing losses thus far and have been a much more competitive team than their 4-8 record shows.
Sunday's matchup would provide them with their best chance yet to break out of their losing ways on the East Coast, and it's the perfect opportunity to show the progress they have made in just one season.
Despite the Jets' dominant defensive front, the rest of the team has had a tough few weeks, and especially so on the offensive side of the ball. This is a game the Raiders should win, and in convincing fashion.
Here are five bold predictions for the Raiders' Week 14 matchup with the New York Jets.
Matt McGloin Throws for 3 Touchdowns
Over the past few weeks, Matt McGloin has been a nice surprise for the Raiders.
Little was expected from him as a rookie undrafted free agent, but his performance in stepping in for the injured Terrelle Pryor has made it an easy decision to have him remain the starter with Pryor now healthy.
With how good the Jets defense has been against the run and how much they've struggled against the pass, this is the perfect game for the Raiders to feature a downfield passing attack and really see what McGloin can do.
Look for him to have one of his best games of the season, similar to that of the Raiders' win in Houston. If he can do just that, the defense will be in a great position to put the game away against the Jets offense.
Andre Holmes Catches 2 Touchdowns with 150-Plus Receiving Yards
In limited action so far, Andre Holmes has gone above and beyond in showing why the Raiders chose to keep him on the roster despite his four-game suspension to start the season.
He has quickly become Matt McGloin's favorite downfield target and has proven extremely capable of winning one-on-one situations, making a number of difficult catches when the offense needed it most.
Whether or not he draws Antonio Cromartie in coverage against the Jets remains to be seen, but expect McGloin to continue to rely on Holmes as much as possible.
In a game where the Raiders should feature the passing attack more than they have in any other, this could result in Holmes putting up some big numbers as well.
Not only would such a performance go a long way toward a Raiders victory, but it would also greatly benefit Holmes and his chances of winning a primary role heading into next season as well.
Lamarr Houston Records 3 Sacks
Lamarr Houston is quickly establishing himself as both the Raiders' best defensive player and one of the best young defensive linemen in the NFL.
He is coming off of a down game against the Cowboys but should rebound nicely against a Jets offensive line that is tied for the second-most sacks allowed with 42.
Putting pressure on Jets quarterback Geno Smith from the game's outset will likely be the Raiders' defensive game plan, and having success doing so could result in some key turnovers.
The Raiders' run defense continuing to play at the level they have will be important in forcing the Jets into obvious passing situations, and the sacks could pile up for both Houston and the rest of the Raiders defense as a result.
Raiders Defense Forces 5 Turnovers
The Raiders defense has been the team's biggest strength so far this season, making huge strides from just one year ago.
While they don't have the most talented or deepest group of pass-rushers, the coaching staff makes use of some effective blitz packages up front, as well as some disguised coverages on the back end, to put the players in position to make plays.
Going up against a Jets offense that has scored a total of just six points in their past two games combined, we could very well see the Raiders defense put in their best performance of the season.
Forcing this many turnovers would put the team in a great position to come away with a win and would do well to establish some much-needed momentum to close out the season.
Raiders Win by 3 Scores
Away games on the East Coast have been extremely frustrating for the Raiders for far too long now, with their last win coming back in 2009 against Pittsburgh.
Of course, no game in the NFL is a guaranteed win, but the Jets are a team the Raiders should beat, and beat pretty convincingly at that.
If the Raiders defense can continue to play the way they have, stopping the run game and forcing timely turnovers, the Jets offense should continue to struggle.
Overall, an East Coast road win would be a good start to what should be a difficult final four games of the season.
While the Raiders are unlikely to challenge for the playoffs at this point, these remain an important four games nonetheless, as heading into next season on a high note can be important in the rebuilding process.
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