You learn many things when at the end of a game, an "L" is put into your record. The Jets gave the Raiders a good competitive game, which came down to the very last play. Three reasons I feel the Jets lost this game are: 1). Lack of 3rd Down Conversions, 2). The Raiders converting a Jets fumble into points, 3). A few conservative plays.
It is crucial in the NFL to be able to convert at least half of your 3rd Down Conversions, or close to it. The Jets were 0-7 (Really 1-8 but they were able to convert it on the last drive of the game) converting them in that game against the Raiders. They weren't able to get anything clicking, especially their running game which in my opinion is a winning formula for a Jets victory. I wouldn't say it was RB Curtis Martin's (11 carries, 26 yards) fault, I guess the Raider's Defense did their best to shut down the Jets running game. QB Chad Pennington (22-34, 265 yards, 2 TD's) had a solid game, but he can't carry the load of putting an entire team on his back. To be a contender, you need the supporting cast too. We're not in an era where just a single QB can make a Team, and I doubt we'll ever be in one. You need your WR's, you need a strong/durable RB, you need the second and third options of a decent FB and sure-handed TE, you need a Defense to keep the opposing Team's Offense off the field, and most of all, you need chemistry. The Jets have chemistry for sure, they've been gelling well, but the Raiders did a good job of taking out the Jets running game and overall, just not allowing our Offense to get into any kind of rhythm. Without being able to convert those 3rd Downs, we couldn't score. We had 7 chances to get either a TD or a FG, and if you can't convert them, you punt and practically give the ball back. Why do you think the Jets were able to go on a 4-game winning streak? They converted practically half (mostly more than half) of those important 3rd Downs and the results were games with over 30 points scored (if you don't count the Miami game).
Let me say, I think KR Chad Morton is a HUGE asset for the Jets, the guy is amazing to watch and gifted athletically. Therefore, I don't blame him one bit for that dropped fumble. Fumbles are a part of football, it's just as bad as Interceptions, and those things happen ALL the time. The Raiders were able to come up with the fumble and put 7 points on the board. It was those points that helped them win 26-20, if they never scored it, who knows what would have happened? All I'm saying is, don't hate Morton because of it, he's a tremendous player and he's been one of the Jets brightest stars this Season. He's probably on his way to the Pro Bowl due to his INSANE amount of yards gained. Morton has well over 1000 yards gained on Kick Returns and 2 TD's so far. His longest run was a 98 yard one, he's done MORE than enough on this Team for him to be given some slack for the fumble.
I don't understand the reasoning behind a few of the plays Paul Hackett called this past Monday night. How do you run the ball on 2nd and long then again in the same drive, on 3rd and SUPER long? I don't see the reasoning behind that, the Jets were fully aware that the running game was NOT working yet they goto the run? Pennington threw for over 250 yards, he obviously was clicking, why not try to pass the ball? It doesn't hurt to go for a pass on 3rd Down, I would say more than half of the time, it'll probably work. That just didn't make any sense to me. For the most part though, the Jets Offensive Playbook against the Raiders wasn't that bad, it had some good plays. I just wish that Hackett didn't call those kind of plays, I've seen that "3rd and long rush" play TOO many times already this Season!
I stayed up the entire night watching that Jets/Raiders game, and even though the Jets lost, they played with heart. At no time I saw a single player's head down, I saw some smiles on the last drive and just enthusiasm. I love that, even when the going gets rough, take it with a smile and just do your absolute best. I didn't see anyone throwing fits or slamming things around, they played with class, and they lost with class. It sure is nice being a Jets Fan, even when this team loses, they make you feel it's all leading up to something real special. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, I know. Broncos, Bears, Patriots, Packers. I don't care what anyone says, this team has the talent, the know-how, and the brains to beat those 4 teams in a row. You can blast me all you want, but the Jets DID have a 4-game winning streak, who's to say they won't do it again? I'm still rooting with all I got for this team, and I'm not giving up for the simple reason that they too are NOT giving up either. You can read all the headlines you want saying that this team won't make the Playoffs but then what's the fun in being a Jets Fan? Everything happens for a reason. I've seen this team go 1-15, lose to the John Elway-led Broncos in an AFC Championship Game, and I've seen this team lose in the Playoffs. The one thing I've always seen though, through wins, losses, and everything in between, is that this Team plays with heart. So all the heartache they put me through, all those sleepless nights I experienced, and all the frustration I've lived through in support of this Team is worth it each and every single time I say J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!