The Oakland Raiders will travel across the country to take on the New York Jets Sunday. The two teams are evenly matched and both do the same things well. It will make for an interesting game, as both teams have to feel they can win. However, the Raiders have not won an eastern time zone game under head coach Dennis Allen. They are 0 for 7.
Despite the travel concerns, the Raiders and the Jets are close to mirror images. Both teams feature their running game as the best part of their offense. The Jets come into the game averaging 124.7 yards per game, good for 10th in the NFL. The Raiders rank 5th in the NFL averaging 133.1 yards per game. The issue for the Raiders rushing attack will be the lack of healthy bodies. Starter Rashad Jennings is dealing with a concussion and has yet to be cleared. He is a game time decision. Oakland will be without both Darren McFadden and Jeremy Stewart. Fullback Marcel Reece, who filled in last season due to injuries and went over 100 yards rushing and receiving combined three times, will factor in as the lead back with Taiwan Jones spelling him.
New York's defense is ranked first in the NFL against the run, allowing only 77 yards per game. Even if Jennings can play, the Raiders are going to have to pass in order to be successful. The Jets are susceptible through the air ranking 25th in the NFL, allowing 256.8 yards per game. That means quarterback Matt McGloin should have some opportunities. Wide receiver Andre Holmes broke out last week with seven receptions for 136 yards. He, Rod Streater and tight end Mychal Rivera will be the weapons McGloin relies on with Denarius Moore out of the game with a shoulder injury.
The Raiders also struggle to defend the pass. They allow 253.9 yards through the air per game. The have a great match-up against Jets' starting quarterback Geno Smith. He has been sacked 42 times this season and has tossed 19 interceptions. During the team's current three game losing streak, Smith has not completed 10 passes in any game. He has eight interceptions in those three games and has not thrown for more than 127 yards. The Raiders defense will have no excuses not to get pressure on Smith and take over the game.
With all the injuries sustained by Oakland, they have placed safety Usama Young and linebacker Kaluka Maiava,on injured reserve. The team has signed cornerback Chance Casey to the active roster. Casey played well in preseason, but has unable to make the final roster. Safety Shelton Johnson and linebacker Marshall McFadden join Casey as players signed to the active roster for the Jets game.
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