The Jets take on the Raiders in the NFL opener. Both the Jets and the Raiders coaches are in it “prove it” year. Both made upgrades in the off-season and are playing young quarterbacks. Notably, Derek Carr is the only rookie starting today.
I rewatched game 3 of the preseason for both teams and game for Carr to get a gauge on how players are doing. You can’t determine a teams quality in the preseason because many, especially Raiders Coach Dennis Allen, choose not to run schemes and run a mostly straight-forward bland offense & defense. You can, however, gauge how a player is faring in regards to his assignments, quality of throws, etc…
Here are some quick thoughts.
The Jets played the Giants. We all know the Giants struggled in the preseason with their offense.
- The Jets D put a lot of pressure on Eli Manning. He was under duress for the majority of the first half.
- The Giants, namely Raider fan favorite, Rashad Jennings, had a lot of success running the ball.
- Geno Smith has grown. He was poised. Threw quality passes with good touch and ran when necessary. He’s no Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick, but he does possess a running threat that keeps defenses honest.
- Manning consistently looked deep for passes even when the pressure was too heavy for this. On their final drive of the first half, the Giants switched it up and had quick 7-15 yard passes. This proved effective.
The Raiders games I reviewed were both the Green Bay and Seattle Games.
- Derek Carr has both touch and power in his throws.
- While our D consistently gave up big drives in their first opening series, they tightened up.
- Khalil Mack kept getting better and started to play with instinct.
- Every running back looked capable and it has the opportunity to be special this year.
- Receivers play harder and make the tough catch for Carr. He makes the team around him better.
Keys to a Raider victory.
- Can the offensive line open up holes for McFadden and MJD?
- Can the offensive line pick up the blitzes for Carr?
- If this happens, DC is good enough to make Jets secondary pay with play-action and quick throws to his speedy receivers. They run great routes and the corners for the Jets are too inexperienced to keep up.
- Can the Raiders D shake up Geno Smith.
- Will the Run D from last year show up, or will it be the run D from the preseason? The Raiders defense must keep the run game in check and consistently rattle Smith. This will help with their secondary concerns.
- I have been telling friends for the last two years that the Raiders should use McFadden as a change-up and not the primary back. I see him having a big game w/his 7-10 carries. He will get shut down for short gains, but he will break 2-3 big runs.
- The team will carry Derek Carr to a small margin victory. The Jets are supposed to win this game. They should win this game, but like last year in Indianapolis, they will surprise their opponent. But the Jets don’t have Andrew Luck to make the game winning drive.
- Final score 17-13. Raiders.