Oakland Raiders: 8 Things We Learned After Beating the New York Jets
The Oakland Raiders beat the New York Jets, 34-24, to get their biggest win in years! The Jets, who had been to the AFC Championship Game the last two years, didn't seem ready for what they got from this Raider team.
But the Jets, just like the rest of us, just learned a great deal about the team.
Turn the page to see just what that is.
To be the bully, you have to beat the bully and Raiders showed that they were just that. The Jets had been the bully of the NFL going into the game as they bullied their way to the last two AFC Championship Games.
They did so with a ground-and-pound rushing attack on offense and harassing the quarterback on defense. The Raiders were able to beat up the Jets the same way they had beaten up their opponents over the years.
The Raiders outrushed the Jets, 234-100, on the day and had four sacks to the Jets' one (that came on a play where quarterback Jason Campbell tripped over his own man).
All around, the Raiders showed that they were clearly the more physical team.
Can Adapt to Short Passing Game
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Raider Nation was scared to death of what might happen when the Jets decide to throw short from the spread. One thing I did notice is that the Raiders did go to a little more man-to-man, but the adjustments weren't major.
The main thing Chuck Bresnahan and the defensive staff needed to get the Raiders to do is make the tackle after the catch. With the exception of Raider killer LaDainian Tomlinson's 74-yard catch-and-run, the Raiders did just that.
That caused a few of the Jets' third-down completions to come up short of first downs, forcing punts.
The Raiders defense couldn't get off the field last week when the Bills went short.
Rookie Corner Ready to Help
Mark Sanchez did have over 300 yards passing, but it wasn't as hurtful as the 222 yards Ryan Fitzpatrick had on the Raiders last week. That's because the Raiders defensive backs made some key plays in key moments, with rookie Chimdi Checkwa being part of it.
Michael Huff (concussion) and Chris Johnson (groin) were out early in the game, and Demarus van Dyke was out with a knee injury. The next man up was Chimdi Checkwa and he was impressive for a rookie.
He did give up a touchdown and a fade to Plaxico Buress, but who hasn't?
The thing is Checkwa played very well up to that point and broke up the next fade that came his way in the end zone! I told everyone that would listen that he was more ready than van Dyke right now.
I'm not calling him the next great corner; I'm just saying he could hold it down until Johnson is healthy.
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This kind of goes back to being the bully but the Raiders showed that there's nothing wrong with its base run defense. New York Jets running back Shonn Greene ran wild on the Raiders defense two years ago.
This year, he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry with the Jets' only hope of a running game coming out of spread. I gave credit to outside linebacker Quentin Groves for his improvement but I couldn't help but notice former first-round middle linebacker Rolando McClain this week. He was always around the ball in the game and had 12 tackles on the day.
He is now taking advantage of the Raiders' front four.
New Reclamation Project
Former first-round outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley came to Raider Nation and has reclaimed his career. He did so by being a very solid in all areas of playing the position but he led the Raiders with nine sacks last year.
This year, the Raiders have former first-round defensive end Jarvis Moss in the process of reclaiming his career. Moss subbed in for Matt Shaughnessy, who's supposed to be the emerging star, and collected two sacks. I think he just earned himself some more playing time.
Shaughnessy plays the run well so I expect him to start, but we may see Moss in passing situations.
The Raiders have themselves another playmaker in rookie receiver Denarius Moore. He only had 34 yards receiving after 150 yards last week, but he had a 23-yard touchdown run that shifted the momentum of the game.
The passing game wasn't quite there for the Raiders as it didn't have to be with McFadden running so well. But Moore still found a way to make an impact on the game with his touchdown on a reverse.
That's what playmakers do!
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Put Stanford Routt on the list of elite corners in the NFL!
He already went into the game with the league's best burn percentage among corners. But Routt really showed Raider Nation something in Week 3 by holding elite receiver Santonio Holmes to only one catch.
He had a pass defensed too.
Routt has to be in the conversation of elite corners now.
Best Running Back in the Game
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It's official now!
Darren McFadden, after breaking out last year, has shown this year, that he is the best running back in the game. McFadden had 171 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns on the day to take the NFL's lead in rushing and touchdowns.
It's not just what he's doing; it's the way that he does it.
McFadden is using his speed and power to lead the league in carries over 20 and 40 yards, and he has the NFL's longest run from scrimmage so far.
The Raiders just took a step toward being an elite football team in the NFL. They may very well already be the bully of the NFL as they just beat the NFL's known bully in the New York Jets.
In Week 3, we learned a few things about this new bully.
We actually learned something more important about the Raiders.
They have a good team!