The opportunity was there. The Jets, on a three-game losing streak, appeared ripe for the picking.
Instead, it was the Raiders who got plucked once more.
On Sunday at East Rutherford, N.J., Oakland did the seemingly impossible by making the New York Jets look good in a 37-27 loss. It was a season scoring high for the Jets, while tt was the Raiders’ 13th straight loss in the Eastern time zone, dating to 2009. Oakland has now lost three straight and five of its past six games.
With three games left this season, the Raiders are now 4-9 and in danger of not improving on their four-win season of 2012. Next up for Oakland: the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos.
Jets struggling rookie quarterback Geno Smith led a resurgent New York offense, completing 16 of 25 throws for 219 yards and a touchdown. The Jets running game, meanwhile, found plenty of holes in picking up 143 yards and averaging 4.5 yards per carry, and the New York special teams contributed perhaps the biggest play of the game, blocking a Marquette King punt and recovering it for a touchdown just before halftime. On the play, Antonio Allen burst through the middle of the Raiders defense virtually untouched to smother the punt and recover the ball in the end zone for the score.
Though the Raiders defense has been the team’s strength this season, it played poorly vs. the Jets, allowing New York to convert on key third downs to keep drives alive. The Jets converted 53 percent of their third-down opportunities (7-of-13). Meanwhile, running back Chris Ivory had a big day on the ground, including a 15-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to give the Jets a 37-20 lead that essentially sealed the game.
The Raiders came back on a touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to rookie tight end Mychal Rivera to cut the margin to 10 points with about 2½ minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late.
McGloin finished the game 18-of-31 for 245 yards and two TDs – he also had a 48-yard scoring strike to Rod Streater – but also threw a first-half interception to Ed Reed that resulted in a Jets field goal.
Without both Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings (both injured), fullback Marcel Reece stepped in as he did last season to run the ball very well. He carried 19 times for 123 yards and a TD – and also caught two balls for 38 yards. With McFadden likely on his way out in Oakland after this season, Reece showed once again that he could be a long-term solution at running back. On a team with few playmakers, Reece – a Pro Bowl fullback – makes positive contributions any time the Raiders give him a chance.
Unfortunatley for the Raiders and their fans, this season is now playing out much the same as the tail end of the 2012 did, with a string of ugly losses.