Everyone knew that the Raiders had a powerful running attack, going into today's game, but hardly anyone could have predicted that Oakland would run for 234 yards en route to a 34-24 win against Rex Ryan's Jets. 234 rushing yards was the highest the Gang Green ever allowed under head coach Rex Ryan.
The Jets allowed a touchdown on Oakland's opening possession, but then scored the next 17 points, taking a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. Oakland answered with big plays, tying the score, 17-17, at halftime. The Gang Green are known for usually having a much better second half, but unfortunately that wasn't the case today.
After the break Oakland completely dominated the game in the trenches, continuing to gain yards on the ground and putting constant pressure on QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez, who threw for a career high 369 yards, was sacked 4 times in the second half. If losing the fight at the line of scrimmage wasn't bad enough, CB Antonio Cromartie added salt to the Jets' wounds by committing 4 penalties (all resulting in Oakland's first downs) and fumbling a kickoff. The kickoff fumble was the play that completely turned the tide in Oakland's favor.
As the Raiders took a 24-17 lead late in the third quarter, Cromartie fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the ball back to the Raiders at the Jets' 13-yard line. Oakland scored 2 plays later, taking a commanding 31-17 lead with one quarter to go. Then, there was a controversial decision to go for it on a 4th and 2 from the Raiders' 2-yard line with 52 seconds left in the final quarter. Should the Jets have attempted a field goal instead? Maybe, but that's not when the game was lost.
The Jets just gave up too many plays, made too many mistakes, missed too many tackles and couldn't not adjust over the course of the game. The Raiders' secondary was pretty banged up going into this game, why didn't the Jets focus more on exposing this weakness? WR Santonio Holmes, Gang Green's #1 receiver, saw only 2 passes thrown to him.
Once again the Gang Green were unable to pressure the opposing quarterback. They had just one sack in this game, when Oakland's signal caller tripped and fell to the ground.
Stars of the game:
RB LaDainian Tomlinson - 38 yards on 6 carries, 5 receptions for 116 yards, 1 TD.
WR Plaxico Burress - 3 receptions for 55 yards, 1 TD.
Duds of the game:
CB Antonio Cromartie - 4 penalties that all resulted in first downs, fumbled kickoff that led to Oakland's game-winning touchdown.
Offensive line - they just plain struggled. Of course, it hurt that C Nick Mangold wasn't there.
Run defense - allowed 234 yards, enough said.