The New York Jets played the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon, one week removed from an opening day loss to the Buffalo Bills. After a surprisingly close first half, the sizable talent disparity between the two teams began to show. The Raiders outscored the Jets 24-7 in the final thirty minutes of action, punctuated by a Cordarrelle Patterson touchdown run. The blowout loss wasn’t a particularly surprising one. The Raiders are competing for a championship. The Jets are merely looking to get back to playing competitive football, providing a look at the game’s most glaring Jets takeaways.
Week Two New York Jets Takeaways
1) Inability to Stop the Run
For the second straight week, the New York Jets run defense was pitiful. The Raiders gained 180 yards on just twenty-seven carries, putting the ball in the end zone three times. Of all the deficiencies surrounding the 2017 New York Jets, the woeful run defense is easily the most inexplicable. Stopping the run was the team’s lone strength in 2016, and they return all three defensive lineman from a year ago. To allow 180 yards in two consecutive games — after allowing an average of 98.8 rush yards per game just a year ago — is appalling. The Jets will have to undergo a dramatic turnaround if they want to stop Jay Ajayi and the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
2) Lack of Quarterback Pressure
In addition to the aforementioned failure to defend the run, the Jets were shredded by Derek Carr through the air. The fourth year quarterback torched the Jets for 230 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were caught by Michael Crabtree. The secondary deserves a sizable chunk of the blame, especially Juston Burris, who had his worst performance as a Jet on Sunday. Yet the most guilty party was the defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson and company didn’t even lay a hand on Carr, much less sack him. The Jets are paying Wilkerson to be the game’s best at his position. Yet, since 2015, he’s been disappointing. Leonard Williams and Kony Ealy didn’t help matters much either. Williams has had a quiet two games after a 2016 performance in which he was far and away the team’s best player.
3) Competent Offense
Is it too early to suggest that the New York Jets offense isn’t the horror show we thought it would be? The unit didn’t light it up in Oakland, not by any stretch of the imagination. Yet they moved the ball well, amassing a respectable 271 yards and 20 points. Given the lack of talent on offense, that’s a solid outing. John Morton deserves credit for expanding his offense, stretching the field far more than he did against the Bills.
The game ball for the week goes to the offensive line. The unit protected the quarterback well, and shined in the run game, helping the team to accumulate 126 yards on the ground. Last of all, Josh McCown played a flawless game. The veteran signal caller tossed for 166 yards and two scores, all while completing 68% of his passes. He even ran for two first downs on third and longs, a development that likely surprised even McCown himself. Overall, an encouraging outing from a unit perceived to be among the league’s worst.