New York Jets Opponent Preview: Oakland Raiders

The Jets will be looking for a third straight win on Sunday when the Raiders come to town.

The Raiders have long been the Jets’ biggest rival out of their division. They have played each other 46 times over the year, with the Raiders leading the rivalry with a 25-19-2 record.

However, it’s been a long time since the Raiders pulled off a win in New York. The Jets have won the last five meetings between the teams at the Meadowlands. The last time the Raiders won in New York was 1996. Overall the home team is 29-15-2 in this rivalry, but the number have been more lopsided in recent memory. Since 2000 the home team is 11-3, and the home team has won the last five meetings, which shows how hard it is for teams to travel cross-country. That’s one of  the tasks that the Raiders have to overcome on Sunday.

The Raiders have traveled poorly in general this season. They are just 1-3 on the road compared to 5-1 at home. While the Raiders have won three games in a row they have all been home games. They were also all against teams with a record under .500. All three of those home games against teams with record under .500 have been one-score games.



All of that indicates that the Raiders simply aren’t as good as their 6-4 record would indicate.

Offense

The Raiders offense is built through their running game. Rookie RB Josh Jacobs sets up everything on their offense. If they can get him going, or get the defense to focus in on him the passing game opens up.

This is great news for the Jets who excel at shutting down the rushing game. They have allowed just 2.1 yards per carry in the last three weeks, and have held Adrian Peterson and Saquon Barkley to a combined 26 rushing yards.

Josh Jacobs has been held under 4.00 yards a carry just once this season, his first career game. However, when Jacobs has gone up against defenses that are ranked top-10 in rush defense DVOA he has struggled. He has failed to get 90 yards in any of the three matchups against those teams so far this season. The Raiders a 1-2 in those games.

The Raiders’ pass offense is deadly efficient. Derek Carr has a 72.3% completion percentage, and he doesn’t turn the ball over often. In his last five games, Carr has thrown nine TDs to just two INTs and one fumble. It’s not likely that the Jets are going to be able to cause many turnovers on Sunday.

That means they are going to have to take away what Carr looks for in the passing game. That’s Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams.

The Jets should have no issue taking Waller out of the game. They cover TEs as well as anyone in the league. The Jets have only given up 60 or more yards to TE once this season. They didn’t let Zach Ertz or Jason Witten eclipse 60 yards. That should be a good indication that Waller is going to have a tough time on Sunday.

Tyrell Williams is much more likely to pose a problem. He’s one of the best deep threats in the NFL and has been efficient on third down this year. Both things the Jets defense struggles to defend. The Jets are 23rd in air yards allowed per completion. If they let Tyrell Williams beat them deep it could be a tough day.

The Jets mostly did well to contain a similar player in Terry McLaurin last week, but that was with Dwayne Haskins at QB. Derek Carr is much better and the Raiders Oline is much better than the Redskins line.

Overall the Raiders offense ranks seventh in total offense DVOA, seventh in passing offense DVOA, and 12th in rush offense DVOA. Sunday is going to be a huge test for the Jets defense.

Defense

The Raiders’ defense is their biggest weakness. They rank 29th in total defense DVOA, 23rd in passing defense DVOA, and 22nd in rushing defense DVOA. They struggle in every facet in defense, and the Jets offense will need to pounce. Those numbers are even worse on the road. The Raiders are either dead last or second to last in every DVOA rated defensive stat on the road.

The Jets offense has put up 34 points in each of the last two games and scored a TD on their opening drive in each of the last four games. Those stats are nothing to scoff at.

Sam Darnold, Jamison Crowder, and Le’Veon Bell should be looking forward to this game. It is a third straight week against a subpar defense. If the Jets are going to win this game they’re going to do it by taking advantage of their Raiders’ poor pass defense.



Rookie CB Trayvon Mullen has struggled all year and will likely be matched up against Demaryius Thomas. While Thomas is not the player he used to be he is coming on in the Jets’ offense. In the last four games Thomas is averaging 4 receptions for 53 yards.

Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but they’re very solid numbers. Over 16 games those numbers would be on pace for 64 receptions and 848 yards. Those are solid number two receiver numbers. Look for Thomas to have a big day.