By Tyson Rauch
On Sunday the Oakland Raiders (4-9) ended up being just what the doctor ordered for a struggling New York Jets (6-7) team. The Raiders, playing without two of their featured running backs, were productive on offense but failed to find answers on defense in their 37-27 loss to the Jets. Gang Green played aggressive on both sides of the ball which was a substantial change from the last three games where the team played scared to lose.
Offense Grade: B
The New York offense was spearheaded by an offensive line that was finally able to control the line of scrimmage. The Jets got their running game going which opened up a passing attack that featured Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Kerley, and David Nelson. Kerley was the biggest bright spot on offense as he gathered four catches for 41 yards (including a 25-yard touchdown reception). Winslow did an excellent job of fighting for yards after the catch and became a presence that the defense had to account for. Where was this play calling the last three weeks?
Defense Grade: C
The Jets defense struggled against a Raiders offense that was playing without their top three running backs and with a rookie quarterback that was making his fourth start. Fullback Marcel Reece torched the Jets defense for 123 yards (including 63-yard TD run) while wide receiver Rod Streater accumulated 130 receiving yards. This was clearly a disappointing performance by a unit that should have been able to dominate the game.
Safety Ed Reed finally made a big play as he intercepted a pass and returned it to the four-yard line. Hats off to head coach Rex Ryan who finally platooned some of the young safeties in along with the veteran Reed.
Special Teams Grade: A
You could not ask for a better performance from the Jets special teams units as they made a significant impact on both returns and coverage. Antonio Allen had a huge punt block for a touchdown while kicker Nick Folk once again had an excellent game (3/3 for field goals long of 51 yards).
Quarterback Grade: C
In the first half of the game Geno Smith struggled as he made several questionable decisions with the football. Smith threw a very poor interception and was lucky not to get picked off again. As the game progressed Geno did a better job of moving around the pocket and used his legs to buy time. The Jets rookie quarterback rushed for a touchdown and found a way to manage the game in the fourth quarter.
Going forward Geno Smith must do a better job of looking off defenders and taking what the defense gives him. Far too often safe plays are ignored for the sake of risky plays down field.
On to the next one
The New York Jets got a much-needed victory but have no time to pat themselves on the back. Gang Green played well enough to beat a bad Raiders team, but must raise their level if they want to compete with Carolina next Sunday. The Jets defense must clean up their mistakes in the passing game while the offense has to find ways to consistently move the football.
For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.
Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.