After a strong performance in their win against the Chargers last week, the Oakland Raiders faced a tough test hosting the New York Jets. Boasting the second-best overall defense heading into the game, New York was 4-2 under new head coach Todd Bowles. The Jets also had the league’s best run game on offense heading into this week.
As it turned out, New York’s defense wasn’t enough to cool down a red hot Raiders offense. The Jets’ run game wasn’t strong enough to penetrate the league’s second best run defense, either.
Amari Cooper was held mostly in check, but that didn’t matter as Derek Carr threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Michael Crabtree had 102 yards receiving and Latavius Murray ran for 113 yards. Add to that two backups making plays in Taiwan Jones and Andre Holmes and the Jets faced more than they could handle.
Meanwhile, the Raiders defense was aided by Ryan Fitzpatrick missing most of the game due to a thumb injury he sustained on the first drive. In his place was Geno Smith, a guy who seems to have only gotten worse with age. Smith had a short period of success and kept the Jets in the game for a little while, but once again, Oakland’s defense was able to do just enough to preserve the big lead put up by the offense.
The Raiders advanced to 4-3, so that means they’ve already surpassed the win total for the entire year in 2014. The Raiders also maintained control of second place in the AFC West.
The win was a great one for the Raiders, but what gives them hope moving forward is the fact that this is a team that has gotten better just about every week. The coaches have done an outstanding job of making adjustments and the young players have been cleaning up mistakes while making big steps forward in their overall progression.
They face another tough test next week when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on a good Steelers team that got Ben Roethlisberger back this week. If the Raiders win that game, then they really can think about playoff contention.