Tale Of The Tape: Oakland Raiders At New York Jets
- QuarterbackIt’s not often that the Oakland Raiders go into a game with a clear quarterback advantage over their opponents, but that’s the case here. Matt McGloin has done a solid job in the last three games, and head coach Dennis Allen will keep him in the starting lineup. McGloin does not have stellar numbers – 56.9 completion percentage, 4-2 TD-interception ration – but he stays calm in the pocket.Geno Smith has fallen into a deep hole and he has no idea how to extricate himself from it. There’s always hope that a rookie quarterback will improve throughout his career, but Smith has an 8-19 TD-interception ratio and he is looking an awful lot like Mark Sanchez. Whether Smith or Matt Simms get the call, the Jets are in trouble here.
- OffenseThe Raiders have gotten a bit of a boost from running back Rashad Jennings, who has run for 588 yards and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Rod Streater has turned into a decent receiver who is not afraid to go over the middle. He has caught 43 passes for 657 yards and he has seven catches that have gone for 20 yards or more. If Denarius Moore (shoulder) can return, the Raiders have a decent deep threat.The Jets have been getting decent play from running backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory this year, but the quarterback play has been so poor that opponents can load up to stop the run without fear of getting burned by the pass. Santonio Holmes has the speed to make a few big plays, but he rarely is an impact player. Stephen Hill (knee) works hard to get open and he wants to be in the lineup.
- DefenseThe Raiders rank 18th in yards allowed, but they are 10th against the run and that should help them out against the Jets. Middle linebacker Nick Roach has become the defense’s dominant player. Not only does he lead the team with 89 tackles, he has a team-high 5.5 sacks. Cornerback Tracy Porter may be a bit on the slow side, but he has 58 tackles, 14 passes defensed and two interceptions.The Jets are a very aggressive defensive team as they rank 12th overall and first against the run. The play of the defense is the only thing that is keeping Rex Ryan’s team somewhat competitive. Linebacker David Harris is an honest player who sells out every week and leads the team with 98 tackles. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has excellent closing speed and leads the Jets with 10.0 sacks.
- Special TeamsThe Raiders’ coverage teams have not been overly impressive this year, but they started the Week 13 game vs. Dallas by forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff and turning it into a touchdown. Sebastian Janikowski is not having his best year (16-of-23 on FG attempts), but he does have a powerful leg.The Jets do a solid job with their coverage teams and they believe that Josh Cribbs (shoulder) still has the ability to bust a big play on a kickoff return. His longest return thus far is 42 yards. Placekicker Nick Folk is having an excellent year. He has made 25-of-26 FG attempts.
The two teams appear to be evenly matched since the Raiders have the edge on offense while the Jets are better on defense and special teams. However, the Jets’ deficit at the quarterback position throws this game in the Raiders’ favor. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor