The Gang Green won their season opener yesterday, barely squeaking by the Oakland Raiders, 19-14. In a game where they pretty much dominated, Rex Ryan's team still managed to trail for most of the first half and then allowed Oakland to get within one score. It should have never been that close. The Jets faced a rookie quarterback and predictably limited the Raiders to only 11 first downs and 158 total yards.
But, just like last season, turnovers and penalties kept the Gang Green's opponent in the game. First, QB Geno Smith threw an interception deep in the Jets' territory, which led to an Oakland touchdown. Then, when it looked like the Jets were on their way to retake the lead, he also lost a fumble inside Oakland's 5-yard line. Luckily, those were the only mistakes that Smith committed yesterday.
Just like last season, Smith shrugged off the early turnovers and led the team on a 12-play 80-yard scoring drive right before halftime.
Rex Ryan's defense turned the screws in the second half, forcing four 3 and outs, two of them for negative yardage. The offense, however, just couldn't put this game away, despite having excellent field position and multiple opportunities to do so. Finally, RB Chris Ivory broke through on a 71-yard scamper. The Jets finally had a 2-score lead but, in a typical Jets fashion, still allowed a late touchdown to bring the fans back on the edge of their seats.
QB Geno Smith had a pretty good game, completing 82.1% of his passes for a total of 221 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. The ground and pound dominated, as the Jets gained over 200 yards rushing. Ivory led the way with 102 yards on just 10 carries, 1 TD. RB Chris Johnson carried 13 times for 68 yards, and scored a receiving touchdown. Another offseason acquisition, WR Eric Decker, led receivers with 5 receptions for 74 yards.
The defense played very well for the most part. They limited the Raiders to just 25 rushing yards (1.7 yards/carry) but failed to force any turnovers. Pass-rush did not impress either, as rookie Carr managed to complete over 60% of his passes and throw two touchdown passes.
The Green Bay Packers are next and it will not be pretty unless the Jets manage to correct their season opener mistakes. Gifting over 100 yards on penalties to the Raiders went pretty much unpunished but one can bet that the Packers won't be as forgiving. The Jets are also hopeful to get injured CB Dee Milliner back in the starting lineup. Rex Ryan's defense managed to get by without him against the Raiders, but Green Bay with their elite quarterback and receivers could be a different matter.