The Jets easily defeated the Jaguars in week two, scoring 32 points against the weak Jacksonville defense. The Raiders had similar struggles last week as they allowed 38 points to the Buffalo Bills (similarly 2-0).
The Raiders allowed 223 rushing yards to Fred Jackson and the Bills, so this will be a perfect time for the Jets to jump-start their running game which has averaged 73 yards per game (28th in the league). This may be difficult though, with pro-bowl center Nick Mangold out for the game. Colin Baxter will be his replacement after he took over for Mangold midway through their game last week. If the Jets’ offensive line gets dominated like it did against Dallas, the Jets will have a very tough time beating Oakland.
The Jets’ advantage comes from the Raiders’ weak passing game. Raiders’ quarterback Jason Campbell has thrown for fewer yards than mark Sanchez through two games, and he has a very thin receiving core. Rookie Denarius Moore has started to make a name for himself after he gained 146 yards against the Bills. Moore is speedy and will likely be matched up against Antonio Cromartie.
If the Jets can stop the passing game, the Raiders will be forced to rely on their running game, led by Darren McFaddon who has averaged 111 yards per game in the young 2011 season. But stopping the run has been one thing that has carried over from last year. They held Cowboys’ runningback Felix Jones to 44 yards and Jaguars’ runningback Maurice Jones-Drew to 88 yards. If the Jets can stop McFaddon, they should be able to win this game.
Projected score: Jets 21, Raiders 14.