New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders: Full Oakland Game Preview

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2015

New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders: Full Oakland Game Preview

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    Al Pereira/Getty Images

    The Oakland Raiders continue to turn heads as an improved team. The upcoming challenge against a winning ballclub brings an early playoff vibe to their Week 8 matchup. 

    The New York Jets and Raiders have plenty of ties and similarities, which makes this battle between two second-place teams an intriguing contest. 

    Wild-card implications creep into the narrative with undefeated division leaders ahead of both clubs.

    In the draft, the Raiders seemed torn between wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Oakland obviously chose the wideout with the No. 4 overall pick, and the Jets selected Williams, who was arguably the best defensive player in the draft, with the No. 6 overall pick.

    Both teams have already matched their win totals from the previous season with new coaching staffs. 

    Will either team find success in running the football? Stout interior run defenses have earned respect on both sidelines. The Jets field the best run defense in the league, while the Raiders rank third.

    Both teams also have a defensive back who will likely end up in the Hall of Fame when his career ends.

    On Sunday, both teams will buckle their chin straps for what’s shaping up to be a physical contest packed with captivating matchups on the field. Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty between these coastal foes.

    Location: O.co Coliseum; Oakland, Calif.

    Date: November, Nov. 1

    Time: 1:05 p.m. PT / 4:05 p.m. ET

    TV: CBS

Week 7 Results and Recap

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    Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy
    Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and Chargers head coach Mike McCoyOrlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
    AFC West Standings
    TeamWinsLosses
    Denver Broncos60
    Oakland Raiders33
    San Diego Chargers25
    Kansas City Chiefs25

    The Raiders are in sole possession of second place in the AFC West after a convincing 37-29 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

    Oakland sits at an even .500 record, hoping to further separate itself from the AFC West cellar and keep pace with the undefeated Denver Broncos. The silver and black will attempt to earn its first victory over a winning team on Sunday against the Jets.

    Playoff talk has already started to circulate heading into Week 8. As previously mentioned, both teams want to keep pace with their division leaders. Aside from winning the division, these teams could jockey for an opportunity to play in an AFC Wild Card Game.

News and Notes

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    Raiders defensive end Aldon Smith
    Raiders defensive end Aldon SmithThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Aldon Smith in Reggie McKenzie’s Long-Term Plans 

    According to CSNBayArea.com reporter Scott Bair, general manager Reggie McKenzie confirmed the intent to keep edge-rusher Aldon Smith in Oakland. 

    “General manager Reggie McKenzie said Smith was in the team's long-term plans on Tuesday afternoon in a roundtable discussion with local media,” wrote Bair.

    McKenzie saved us the guesswork and outwardly spoke about welcoming Smith into the Raiders family.

    "At the end of the day, when we decided we were going to go after him, we wanted to let him join the family and help him in any kind of way we can,” said McKenzie. "That’s what we’re doing.”

    The Raiders general manager hopes that his short-term investment blossoms into a long-term solution on the defensive line alongside Khalil Mack. Smith hasn’t made a lot of noise in the first six games, but he missed all of training camp.

    As the season progresses, look for Smith to resemble the disruptive player who once played for the team across the bay.

    Nate Allen on the Mend

    Safety Charles Woodson will have a ball hawk rejoining him in the coming weeks. Fellow safety Nate Allen returned to practice after suffering an MCL tear.

    He’s on short-term injured reserve and eligible to return as early as Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings. Fortunately for Allen, his injury didn’t require surgery, which likely saved his season, per Raiders.com editor Jerry Knaak

    “That was a big relief, at first I thought I might have to [have surgery], after the MRI and everything, found out I didn’t need it,” Allen said. “That was a positive in that situation.”

    Big Hole in Jets' Pass Protection?

    In news pertaining to Sunday, Jets center Nick Mangold’s status will probably lead to a game-time decision. He described his neck injury as a "scary moment" in a Twitter message thanking Jets fans for their support.

    Mangold has missed three games in his 10-year career. New York promoted center Wesley Johnson to the active roster in case Mangold cannot suit up Sunday.

Latest Injury News

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    Raiders defensive end Denico Autry getting checked by team physicians
    Raiders defensive end Denico Autry getting checked by team physiciansNam Y. Huh/Associated Press
    Oakland Raiders Injury Report   
    PlayerPositionInjuryPractice
    Denico AutryDLConcussion FP
    T.J. CarrieDBShoulderLP
    Keith McGillCBFootLP
    Neiron BallLBKneeDNP
    Justin EllisDTAnkleFP
    Charles WoodsonSShoulder/KneeDNP

    *DNP = Did not practice

    *LP = Limited participation in practice

    *FP = Full participation in practice

    Oakland Raiders injury report courtesy of Raiders.com

    Denico Autry: Defensive lineman Denico Autry participated in a full practice. Keep in mind that he experienced concussion symptoms after a full week of practice leading up to Week 7. He looks good, but he’s not a lock to play.

    Justin Ellis: The Raiders will likely add another piece to their stout interior defense in preparation for Jets running back Chris Ivory. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis practiced in full after missing the previous outing with an ankle injury.

    T.J. Carrie: Defensive back T.J. Carrie practiced with limitations. This could become a trend as he deals with a nagging shoulder injury.

    Keith McGill: Cornerback Keith McGill has become the forgotten man in the secondary since Neiko Thorpe assumed a prominent role. Nonetheless, he practiced with limitations. 

    Neiron Ball: According to McKenzie via San Jose Mercury News writer Jimmy Durkin, linebacker Neiron Ball’s injury is similar to defensive end Benson Mayowa’s preseason injury that kept him off the field for about a month. Ball suffered a knee injury in Week 7 and will likely sit out another four or five games.

    Woodson: You already know the deal with Woodson. No practice but ready as ever on Sundays.

Key Matchups

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    Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper
    Raiders wide receiver Amari CooperJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Amari Cooper vs. Darrelle Revis

    Let’s cut to the chase. This is the box-office matchup everyone wants to see. On one side is the rookie receiver who has broken a few ankles and embarrassed some veterans in impressive fashion. 

    On Sunday, Cooper will line up across from his toughest challenge in cornerback Darrelle Revis. Bleacher Report writer Mike Freeman has compared the Jets cornerback to Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders, which amounts to high praise indeed. 

    However, Cooper isn’t your average rookie wideout. He’s dangerous before and after the catch. He runs precise routes with the quickness to burn defenders on the field. If you’ve watched SportsCenter any day this week, you’ve witnessed Cooper make multiple Chargers defensive backs look silly.

    Will Cooper two-step on another prominent cornerback or find himself stranded on Revis Island?

    Jets Pass Rush vs. Raiders Offensive Line

    Thus far, the Raiders offensive line has allowed eight sacks. Quarterback Derek Carr stands tall in the pocket as one the least-touched signal-callers in the league.

    On Sunday, the Raiders will have their hands full in the trenches against the Jets' ferocious pass rush known as The Sack Exchange. In 2014, this unit recorded 45 sacks and added the No. 6 overall pick to the group.

    This season, defensive end Sheldon Richardson served a four-game suspension, which hurt sack production. Nonetheless, the Raiders must deal with Richardson now, along with Muhammad Wilkerson.

    Oakland surrendered four sacks to the Broncos’ aggressive pass rush in Week 5. After a solid showing after the bye week, the Raiders offensive line seems prepared for another tough challenge. 

X-Factor: Clive Walford

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    Raiders tight end Clive Walford scores a touchdown.
    Raiders tight end Clive Walford scores a touchdown.Denis Poroy/Associated Press/Associated Press

    The crucial matchups could bring mixed results for both teams. The Raiders must challenge the Jets with a new wrinkle on offense.

    Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave should continue to increase tight end Clive Walford's role in the passing attack. According to ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, safety Calvin Pryor will likely miss Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

    Oakland could keep the safeties on their heels to ensure one-on-one situations for both wide receivers on the perimeter. The ability to consume the deep safety eliminates over-the-top help in case Carr decides to take a deep shot toward Cooper.

    An average safety lining up against Walford favors the athletic tight end on passes 20 yards down the field.

Prediction: Jets 20, Raiders 17

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    Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis
    Jets cornerback Darrelle RevisAl Pereira/Getty Images

    Expect a nasty game headlined by impenetrable front sevens on both sides. It’s hard to see either Ivory or Latavius Murray rushing for more than 100 yards.

    The key to this matchup boils down to the more successful vertical attack. On paper, the Raiders passing attack ranks higher than the Jets. However, Carr and Cooper have to beat Revis and Antonio Cromartie in the secondary.

    Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has two giant wideouts in Brandon Marshall (6’4”, 230 lbs) and Eric Decker (6’3”, 214 lbs) at his disposal against David Amerson and T.J. Carrie. New York will likely target the Raiders' newest cornerback, Amerson.

    In both seven-point Jets losses, the opponent found ways to implement a third offensive weapon. In Week 7, the New England Patriots put trust in wide receiver Danny Amendola in the slot. In Week 3, the Philadelphia Eagles completed six passes to running backs, one for a touchdown.

    Who’s that solid third option for the Raiders? Is it Walford or wide receiver Seth Roberts?

    Oakland stands at 3-0 when Cooper gains 100 receiving yards. The team has yet to win a game when he’s below the 100-yard mark. The Jets have allowed two 100-yard receivers, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Donte Moncrief, who played third fiddle in the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps.

    Mangold’s status will shift the balance of power. If he plays, the Jets win a tight game in Oakland.

    Prediction: Jets 20, Raiders 17

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    All statistics are provided by Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus and Team Rankings unless otherwise noted.