Raiders Preview: Attacking the Jets Defense

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Raiders WR Michael Crabtree
Sep 10, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Seth Roberts (10) celebrates with receiver Michael Crabtree (15) after a touchdown during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After the Oakland Raiders defeated the Titans, a new focus surfaced. Happiness aside, Oakland will turn their focus to welcoming the New York Jets to O.co. At this instant, Tennessee fades into the history book and New York lies ahead. A defensive-minded head coach, Todd Bowles cherishes an aggressive, stout defense.  Here’s what the Jets feature on that side of the ball.

 

Ground and Pound

During a loss to the Bills, the Jets surrendered 189 yards (4.5 ypc). Reading that stat line must bring joy to Todd Downing. For an offense that loves to run the ball, the Jets defense gives Oakland the perfect chance to shorten the game. Lynch, Richard, and Washington need to amass roughly 27-30 carries. If the Raiders reach that number, it signals a win.

 

Watch the DE

The strength of the New York defense resides on the defensive line. Ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams set the entire tone for the defense. Wilkerson, the consummate pro, uses technique, leg drive and leverage to succeed versus offensive linemen. Similarly, opposing lineman must prepare for an all day battle. Regardless of his salary, Wilkerson will fight to get into the back field.

Conversely, Leonard Williams bring freakish athleticism and unbridled energy to the table. For a 325-pound lineman, Williams moves like a man fifty pounds lighter. On tape, watch his stride. The crispness of his feet becomes readily apparent. The Raiders must lean on Williams early to sap that bounce from his step.

 

Leaky Corner

While the Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins attempt to build balanced AFC East defenses, the Jets decided to piece a secondary together. First, the cornerbacks are screaming for passes their way. Buster Skrine possesses decent speed and agility. However, Skrine’s smallish size (5’8”, 182) serves as an invitation to pick on him. Couple that with, his grabby nature. Since 2015, officials flagged Skrine for six pass interference, six defensive holding, and four unnecessary roughness penalties. Derek Carr must locate him and feed whichever receiver in the vicinity.

Sooner or later, the Jets will find the right mix to compete. Unfortunately, this process takes a while, and Sunday is five days away. If the Raiders can occupy Williams and Wilkerson, the Jets’ defense loses their bite. In essence, the secondary is a hodgepodge of shaky veterans and young safeties. In that case, Derek Carr can pick his spots and dissect the back four. Plus, after a steady diet of the run, those eleven will tire.

 


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