Week 2 Recap and Week 3 Preview
Week 2: Raiders Blow It
The Raiders had their chance to impress me and show that they are the real deal. They were on their way to doing that until they blew their 21-3 halftime lead. Jason Campbell and Denarius Moore had breakout games but all in all the Raiders showed me that they are no more than an 8-8 team. On the road, the Raiders had a chance to go home against with a 2-0 record, something they haven’t done since 2002, and they just imploded. The balanced attack of Ryan Fitzpatrick (264 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT) and Fred Jackson (117 yards rushing, 2 TDs) was too much for the Raiders in the second half.
The first half was all Oakland. The defense held the Bills to only 155 yards and were able to dictate the tempo on their way to a 21-3 half time lead.
In the second half, it was exactly the opposite for the Raiders. They gave up 326 yards in the second half and a total of 34 first downs.
In the fourth quarter, where all the drama happened, Fred Jackson gave the Bills their first lead, 24-21, on a 1-yard run 50 seconds into the fourth quarter. The Raiders answered the call five minutes later, as Darren McFadden caught a swing pass to the right and took it to the end zone for 12 yard score. Buffalo went up 31-28 with 4:48 left when Fitzpatrick capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a 6-yard pass to tight end Scott Chandler.
Back came the Raiders, who regained the lead 1:07 later when Campbell hit Moore on a 50-yard pass over the middle. Fitzpatrick then led a 14-play, 80-yard drive in which he twice converted on 4th down. On the final scoring play, Fitzpatrick connected with David Nelson on 4th down for a 6 yard score with 14 seconds remaining for the lead and eventual win 38-35. The key play came 2 plays before the Nelson TD when CB Chris Johnson dropped and INT in the end zone.
Week 3: Get to Sanchez
Week 3 against the Jets is a great time to get back on track. The Raiders have to prove that they can come back from a devastating loss as they host their first home game against the Jets.
The Jets travel for the first time this season and they are leaving without a key member to their offensive line. Nick Mangold did not make the trip to Oakland with a high ankle sprain. The Raiders must get pressure on Mark Sanchez. Look for Richard Seymour to have a big game against rookie center Colin Baxter. The Raiders have to stop the Jets quick slants route and they may be able to do that with their tall defensive line (starters are all 6’5 or taller).
On offense, look for the Jets to have a similar gameplan as they did last week against the Jaguars. They were extremely successful in stopping the Maurice Jones Drew and the run game and forcing them to pass. Look for the Jets to try to stop McFadden and force Campbell to throw.
Key to Victory: Pressure Sanchez – If the Raiders can make Mark Sanchez uncomfortable look for the Raiders to have a good defensive game.
Outcome: I think the absence of Nick Mangold won’t be enough for the Raiders to beat the Jets. The game will be close and Nick Folk kicks a game winning field 27-24.