"New York, New York, big city of dreams, everything in New York ain't always what it seems." When it comes to the New York Jets, that's the old Snoop Dogg and Dog Pound song that I think of.
They are a good team, but you'd think they just won their fourth Super Bowl in a row with all the hype they get. Then you have the Oakland Raiders, who just got put back on the flea list after losing a close one in Buffalo.
Everyone sees a blowout in the making here, but I don't see that being the case at all. In fact, the Raiders have a very good chance of winning the game if they can get a few breaks to go their way.
Let's see what those breaks are.
The Raiders already got their first break in the game being sold out.
Now all the Raiders need is for their fans to create that deafening noise that bothers the visiting team. It will also give this young team something to feed off, giving it that extra something that wins games.
There was once a time that Oakland was one of the toughest cities for an opposing NFL team to play in. However, the No. 1 thing that makes it difficult for a visiting team is a competitive, exciting home team, and the Raiders have that now.
Gone is the dysfunctional era, so Raider fans will be at the O.co Coliseum.
This is another break the Raiders already have.
It would be an even bigger break for perennial Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold to not play at all. The Jets already aren't running the ball very well these days, and losing Mangold isn't going to help.
I say this is already a break for the Raiders because he won't be as good with a high ankle sprain. Last time I checked, Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly are whom he'll see Sunday, and not being 100 percent won't be good for Mangold and the Jets.
Ground and pound is in danger.
I'm not blaming the officials for the loss in Buffalo, but there were some iffy calls on Raiders corner Chris Johnson. I'm bringing this up because I watched the the Jets play the Jaguars and saw Darrelle Revis do the same thing and not get called on Sunday.
This is really important because both teams play the same style of defense in the secondary. If Revis and Antonio Cromartie get the LeBron James treatment while Stanford Routt and Johnson get the Dwight Howard treatment, it will be next to impossible for the Raiders to win.
The Raiders need the refs to call the same game on both sides.
The Raiders need Jets head coach Rex Ryan to be stubborn and stay with the ground and pound. That type of attack no longer works on the Raiders, as rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain and weak side linebacker Quentin Groves are coming into their own.
Then you can add strong side linebacker Kamerion Wimbley to the mix with the front four the Raiders have. That's a front seven that will give the Jets problems when the Jets try to run against the Raiders.
I just hope Ryan doesn't decide to copy the Bills second-half game plan.
Jason Campbell needs to throw his deep balls out in front where the fast Raiders receivers can run under it. At this point, I have to call it a break instead of a given because he hasn't been consistent throwing deep.
However, for Campbell to do that, the Raiders are going to have to him time to get the ball deep. They have done a great job in pass protection so far, but Ryan is going to dial up blitzes because that's what he does.
Darrelle Revis is the luckiest and most overrated football player in the history of the NFL. In 2009—his best year—his interceptions came on plays where he was beat, but the Jets' blitz disrupted the throw and it went right to him.
His interception this year came right to him.
Chad Johnson, Steve Smith and Terrell Owens all got behind him only for an under-thrown ball to be picked off by Revis. The key is time, as Chad Henne had enough time to throw a 53-yard touchdown to Ted Ginn, Jr., who blazed by Revis.
Then Revis got "Mossed" last year.
If Campbell has time, Revis can be had.
Denarius Moore, the rookie sensation, is a receiver that has an unstoppable blend of receiver talents. The man is extremely fast, a very sudden route runner and will go up and fight for the ball coming down with it most of the time.
As I said before, if Campbell is able to put the ball out in front, Revis is going to get torched. If the ball is underthrown a bit, this will be an epic battle for who makes the catch.
If Moore wins this battle, the Jets will give Revis help over the top, leaving other options open for the Raiders.
The winner of this battle may win the game.
This one is more literal than anything, but Darren McFadden needs to "break" one. Not only is that a quick touchdown, but it will slow the Jets blitz down as the first order of business will be to stop McFadden.
The Raiders were 6-1 last year when McFadden ran for more than 100 yards in the football game. Those 100-yard games always consisted of a "break" of more than 20 or 40 yards.
This will have the Jets unable to help but bite on play fakes, opening up the Raiders deep ball even more. On top of that, the crowd will go crazy to see their most exciting player give them a game-breaking performance.
The decimal level will go up even higher.
I am not sold on Mark Sanchez as a great or even solid quarterback the least bit. In fact, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a much better quarterback and the Raiders had a chance to make three interceptions, two of them with the game on the line.
Sanchez will give the Raiders more chances than that, as he threw two interceptions against the Jaguars last Sunday. I'm not going to rehash what happened in Buffalo, but if the Raiders defensive back catch the ball the Raiders will get the turnovers they need to win the game.
Remember, Sanchez will give them chances, especially with the pass rush the Raiders have.
He had all day to throw last Sunday and still threw two picks.
Last week, I predicted a win for the Raiders against the Bills and I came up snake eyes. The Raiders lived up to it at first with an impressive first half, but it takes two to get a win, especially in a hostile invironment.
However, this game is far from impossible for the Raiders to win, and if they get the breaks to go their way, they will.