Monday, November 02, 2015
Yes, you read that right. Both the Jets and the Raiders fighting for a playoff position. Don't worry, peeps. I'm not used to reading phrases like, "Raiders in the thick of the AFC playoff race" on sports web sites like Fox Sports in November either.
It's been awhile since I've celebrated a Raiders win here, and from all accounts I should get used to it. I didn't have TV coverage where I live, so I depended on Twitter to keep up with the game action. From all accounts, it looks like the Raiders receivers have greatly improved. As a group, they are now gaining a lot of yardage after the catch and making Derek Carr look like a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback. This has helped the Raiders jump out to big leads in the first half, something we have not seen in over a decade.
The Raiders defense briefly knocked both Jets quarterbacks out of the game, but part of that can be blamed on Geno Smith's lack of awareness. There was at least one run where he should have gone out of bounds, but instead absorbed a big hit while running along the sidelines for extra yardage. Even though he was injured during the first series, Ryan Fitzpatrick was forced to come in for a few plays while the Jets worked on getting Geno ready for another beating.
It was nice to see Charles Woodson get another INT. I don't know how many more years he's going to play, but it would be a crime not to have him in the Pro Bowl this season. He is playing his best football in years.
I'm not used to seeing the Raiders in second place in the AFC West division so late in the season. At the beginning of the year, I would have been happy with the Raiders finishing 7-9 knowing they would improve in the coming years. Now, I have to change my way of thinking. The Chargers have a terrible defense, injuries, and possibly the worst punt return team in NFL history. The Chiefs also have key injuries. Can the Raiders become a playoff team this year? They just might, and ironically it may depend on how the Jets do the rest of the season.
If there's good news for the Jets today, it's that they have no interest in Ryan Mallett. Hopefully for their sake, they can find a decent quarterback soon. That is the one position that's going to hold them back this season.