Oakland Raiders: A Few Keys To Beating The New York Jets

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Derek Carr /
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Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders /

Do Not Let Jets Ground Game Get Rolling

Let’s be honest. New York’s ground game isn’t going to set the world on fire anytime soon. But, last season, they had the league’s twelfth-best rushing attack, amassing over 1,800 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground.

But, since we’re being honest, let’s just say that Oakland’s run defense last season was more porous than a pasta colander. Oakland posted the twenty-third best run defense in 2016. And in a league with just 32 teams, that – as they say – ain’t good.

Their week one performance against Tennessee was promising. They held a powerful combination in DeMarco Murray (44 yards on 12 carries), Derrick Henry (25 yards on six carries), and Marcus Mariota (26 yards on three carries) in check more or less, the entire game.

It’s all the more impressive when you consider the Titans, running behind that powerful offensive line – a line some suggest is one of the best in the league – had the NFL’s thrid best rushing attack in 2016. Tennessee checked in with just about 137 yards rushing per game last season, and Oakland held them to just 95 total yards – and only 69 by their starting running backs.

It’s a promising start, but nothing more than that. Oakland will need to string together a few performances like that one before we can declare that their run defense really is much improved over last year’s version.

After all, they did limit New Orleans to just 88 rushing yards in last year’s season opener – and then started giving up a pile of yards on the ground.

Buffalo held Matt Forte (16 yards on six carries) and Bilal Powell (22 yards on seven carries) to a combined 38 rushing yards. And by taking away New York’s ground game, it allowed Buffalo to shut down their passing game and make life miserable for Josh McCown and the offense.

The Raiders, with what looks to be a much improved defensive front, are going to need to duplicate that feat.