It's been since week 3 vs Houston that the Nation has felt optimistic about the team, winning has that effect on people. In taking down the Philadelphia Eagles the Raiders showed that it can play and beat a team that many have picked to at least get into the playoffs.
This Sunday vs. the J-E-T-S the Raiders are facing a team that figuratively has their back against the wall. They have lost their last 3 games (including this past Sunday to Buffalo @ home in overtime), Sanchez has regressed somewhat (making his college coach Pete Carroll look like Nostradomus) and Kris Jenkins (NT) is lost for the season. All of that, combined with having to go across the U.S. to play the Raiders makes for a bad day on Sunday but, let us the Raider Nation proceed w/caution.
We all know that the Jets running game is devastating, the tandem of Johnson & Jones (sounds like a law firm) ran all over Buffalo in defeat last week and of course this is one of the weakness's of the Raiders defense. Putting 8 in the proverbial box is probably going to be paramount here but, the front 4 must get some push up the field to disrupt the Jets timing. Will they be able to do this consistently, probably not, since the law of averages are against it happening. This is were the linebackers & safeties are going to have to be very disciplined on running downs (especially the obvious ones). Run blitzes might be more into play especially if Sanchez's passing becomes woeful.
With the addition of Braylon Edwards the passing game has a whole new element but, as I stated earlier Sanchez has/is regressing, now we won't know if the 3-0 Sanchez will show up or the 0-3 Sanchez. Aso, I'm sure will be on Edwards so there is one half of the field gone, I would imagine that Sanchez will try and test Aso (not a good idea) but, we know how this could end. Which leaves the other half of the field, Jericho Cotchery was out last week w/a bad hamstring while he has been practicing this week I don't think he'll be his normal effective self. This could leave the safeties (at least one of them) to play closer to the line of scrimmage and help w/run defense thus, limiting the big runs that Johnson & Jones could break. Of course if the tackling is sloppy it will be all for naught.
John Marshall called everything right last week; lets see if the defense can do it again this week.
Tomorrow the offense.
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