Raiders misery ends

At least it is over. The Oakland Raiders season was one of pain and misery. The offense scored just 45 points in the second half of games all season, less than three points per.

Raiders Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- QB Aaron Brooks completed 15 of 26 passes but for only 136 yards with one interception. WR Johnnie Morant had his second lost fumble in two games, leading to a short-field touchdown. The Raiders had only one explosive play of note, a 28-yard completion to Doug Gabriel. The timing was poor, the execution lacking. The tight ends were non-contributors, with two receptions for 14 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- No reason to apologize for the running game, only for circumstances that forced the Raiders to stop using it. RB Justin Fargas had 16 carries for 75 yards in the first half. Once the Jets opened the second half by taking 7:15 off the clock and kicking a field goal for a 13-3 lead, the run was abandoned. Fargas had one carry for 4 yards in the second half. Oakland carried 22 times for 88 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- The Raiders failed to disrupt the timing of the Jets' short-passing offense, with Chad Pennington completing 22 of 30 passes despite a handful of drops. The yardage wasn't big -- New York gained only 157 yards -- but the Jets had eight passing first downs, and the steady stream of completions helped them accrue a 36:49 to 23:11 advantage in time of possession. The Raiders had no interceptions. After some rough games, Fabian Washington had a solid game in coverage, including a breakup in the end zone.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Jets needed 37 carries to gain 117 yards, so the going was difficult. But the Raiders did give up some yardage at key times, and they were flummoxed on a bluff shotgun formation where motion man Brian Smith instead took the snap and ran for a first down. Despite their low average, the Jets did gain nine of their 19 first downs on the ground.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The Raiders had one backbreaking error: Jarrod Cooper's holding penalty that erased what would have been a Chris Carr kickoff return to the Jets 3-yard line. That play could have set up the Raiders to close the score to 13-10. The Raiders' average drive start on kickoffs was only the 29-yard line, but the Jets' average was the 34 on two Oakland kickoffs. Shane Lechler had two more touchbacks to finish with a career-high 19 for the season.

COACHING: C-minus -- The defense gave up just 266 yards but was nothing special. Oakland let the Jets have their way by doing nothing to disrupt the timing of the passing game. The offensive showing was latest in a long line of poor efforts. The running scheme in the first half was strong, but the Raiders did nothing extraordinary to put the ball into the end zone, never thinking out of the box to make a breakthrough.

Jets Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Chad Pennington dinked and dunked his way to a 22-for-30, 157-yard day as the Jets took few chances, figuring correctly that Oakland wouldn't score much itself. Jerricho Cotchery had seven receptions, including three for first downs, but Laveranues Coles had only two catches for 24 yards and one costly drop. Perhaps he still was feeling the effects of a blow to the head suffered against Miami.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- The Jets had some flashes of production, most notably Leon Washington's 15-yard touchdown scamper on a pitchout and Brad Smith's 20-yard end-around during the first TD drive, but the overall production still wasn't there. A per-carry average of 3.2 yards against an opponent that couldn't sustain its own offense is not impressive.

PASS DEFENSE: A-minus -- The Jets harassed the skittish Aaron Brooks all day, and got two sacks, including one in which LB Eric Barton got the strip and DE Bobby Hamilton the recovery. They got two other turnovers from pass defense, as S Eric Smith had an interception and CB David Barrett forced a fumble from Johnnie Morant, which CB Hank Poteat recovered.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Jets got the big stops they needed, as LB Matt Chatham stuffed Zack Crockett on third-and-1 from the Jets' 45 in the third quarter and DE Shaun Ellis did likewise to Aaron Brooks on the ensuing play. But Justin Fargas did have 79 yards on 17 carries for the Raiders, who averaged 4.0 yards on the ground.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Mike Nugent connected on three of three FG attempts and for the first time in three games, P Ben Graham handled each snap flawlessly. Graham wasn't too shabby punting, either, as he had a 57-yard net on his first boot and placed two punts inside the 20. The Jets didn't break any big returns, but neither did Oakland, as Chris Carr's 92-yard jaunt to the Jets' 1 on a third-quarter kickoff was erased by a holding penalty.

COACHING: A-minus -- Eric Mangini kept his team grounded, as usual, and it showed in a solid, yet unspectacular effort. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's game plan was conservative but effective, and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton again was able to dial up blitzes without sacrificing coverage downfield, much as he did against Miami.


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