The Oakland Raiders are coming off of a dominating performance in which they beat the San Diego Chargers 37-29 on the road to even up their season record at 3-3, but now they’ll face another tough test.
Head coach Jack Del Rio and his team return to O.Co Coliseum to take on the New York Jets who appear to be a real playoff threat at 4-2 on the season.
Rookie head coach Todd Bowles and the Jets are coming off a tough loss against the undefeated New England Patriots in which they had a chance to win late in the game.
The Jets use a tough defense and a solid running game to overpower their opponents.
Starting running back Chris Ivory is nursing a hamstring injury, but is a key piece to the Jets offense that ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards. Ivory has rushed for 501 yards and four touchdowns on the season. He’s a big, bruising back that is difficult to bring down so the Raiders’ third-ranked rush defense must make sure they wrap him up and bring him down.
Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken over as the Jets starter and has thrown for 1,472 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His leading target is Brandon Marshall, who the Jets traded for in the offseason. He leads the team with 41 receptions for 578 yards and four touchdowns. Opposite of Marshall is Eric Decker, who has four scores of his own on 24 receptions for 333 yards. It’ll be a tough matchup for the Raiders secondary as they’ll have to matchup with the big receivers.
Bowles and his defense are allowing just 71.5 rushing yards per game, good for the best in the NFL. But they’re no slouches against the pass either, ranking in the top five in the NFL with 211.7 passing yards allowed per contest. The return of cornerback Darrelle Revis has bolstered the defense with a team-leading three interceptions on the season. It will be another tough matchup for rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper who continues to light up opposing defenses.
The Raiders offensive line will be tested by a formidable pass rush, led by Muhammad Wilkerson who leads the team with five sacks. He is alongside DT Sheldon Richardson (1.5 sacks) and DE Leonard Williams (0.5 sacks). The Raiders will need to get some push to open up holes for running back Latavius Murray, which would ultimately make things easier for Derek Carr and the Raiders passing game.
The Raiders will head back out on the road next week as they go to Pittsburgh for another tough battle against Ben Roethlisburger and the Steelers.