In what some media people are saying is that the Jets, after only six regular season games, have reached the crossroads to the 2009 season. After starting 3-0 and on such a high note with victories over Houston, New England, and Tennessee, the Jets have come crashing towards the ground with three consecutive losses against better teams for sure in New Orleans and Miami and the far less competitive Buffalo Bills.
That’s no knock against the New England Patriots, but they weren’t the same team in Week Two as they are now, agreed?
A loss against the 2-4 Oakland Raiders this Sunday in Oakland very well might be the end of the Jets season with upcoming games against Miami, Jacksonville, a bye week, and New England. At that point the Jets could be looking at a 3-7 season and a ranking among the five worst teams in the NFL.
That is exactly why, here in only week seven, that the Jets will play the most important game of their season.
They will have to do it without nose tackle Kris Jenkins, who is out for the season with knee damage, and Lito Sheppard ,who once again finds himself on the sidelines out with an injury. The loss of Jenkins is huge and a hole that the Jets hope to fill with Sione Pouha.
On the offensive side of the ball, coach Ryan will be looking for a bounce back game from his much criticized rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. With 10 interceptions so far this season, Sanchez is hardly looking like the next Joe Namath to lead the Jets to the promised land.
According to Ryan, Sanchez is “resilient” but I guarantee another repeat performance even by halftime of the Oakland game we very well might find former starting quarterback Kellen Clemens under the center.
The Raiders are coming off their biggest win of the season, a surprising 13-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles who certainly played its ugliest game of the season this past Sunday.
JaMarcus Russell played his best game of the season, but he too didn’t remind any Raider fans of the second coming of Jim Plunkett or Kenny Stabler or even Darryl Lamonica.
The Eagles were one touchdown drive away from winning that game all day long and if their once trusted field goal kicker David Akers hadn’t missed on two early field goals attempts the Raiders would have lost this game as well.
Prior to the Eagles game, the Raider had given up enough points to lose by at least 20 in those three previous games. The Raiders have scored a grand total of five touchdowns in six games and if the Jets vaunted defense returns to the fold the Raiders won’t be scoring many more this Sunday.
Over the years, the Jets playing in Oakland can only be described as a nightmare. They are 2-12-1 in Oakland since 1963 and one only has to look back to last year when the Jets visited the West four times and came away with four losses.
It’s no secret in the NFL that teams don’t travel well when going cross country. This team really is in a "make it or break" game going to the West coast to play in front of some very hostile fans.
I know there will be at least two Jets fans there as my wife and I take our annual football trip on the road to Oakland to see this game in person. We have debated back and forth as to whether or not we have enough “cojones” to wear our Jets gear, shirts, hats etc.
She says “Sure, bring it on”, while I tend to be more conservative about my well being. She’s still annoyed at me for not getting seats in the infamous “Black Hole” section where all the crazies hang out.
Prediction: I’m still on the Rex Ryan bandwagon. He says the team has great character and they will show it on Sunday. They had better for their season and my safety depends on it. Jets 27—Raiders 10