ReFo: Raiders @ Jets, Week 1
The regular season is finally here, and despite the low 19-14 score line, this was a fun and competitive matchup between two teams eager to surprise in tough divisions.
West coast teams generally don’t fare well playing in 1:00PM ET road games, and that’s pretty much what happened to the Raiders, who managed to keep the game close with the help of an early interception, but just couldn’t find the offense to beat the Jets and their formidable front seven at home.
As always, let’s take a look at who stood out in this one.
Oakland Raiders – Performances of Note
Derek Carr, QB: -4.7
Breakdown: Facing one of the league’s better defensive fronts, Carr and the Oakland offense generally kept things short and quick, evidenced by his 151 passing yards and 4.7 YPA (second-lowest of all QBs so far), while only three of his 20 completions traveled more than 10 yards in the air. Outside of a few standard misfires, should really only regret two throws (2Q, 7:28 and 4Q, 6:59), both of which were near-interceptions.
Signature Stat: Blitzed on 17 of his 34 drop-backs, Carr finished with a 2.3 YPA on those plays.
Charles Woodson, S: +3.0
Breakdown: Woodson showed some familiar ball skills at 6:06 of the first quarter, stepping in front of Eric Decker for an impressive interception to give his offense a short field early. He had a fairly quiet game otherwise; was out of position once on an incompletion and failed trying to keep Chris Johnson out of the end zone (2Q, 0:31), but also made two stops in the run game.
Signature Stat: Spent just one of 72 snaps lined up directly over a wide receiver as a cornerback.
Khalil Mack, LB: +0.1
Breakdown: Oakland’s top pick compiled two hurries and a hit in 21 pass rushes, despite battling the quick release of Geno Smith, who got rid of the ball in 2.36 seconds on average. The pressures are slightly less impressive on closer inspection, though, with one coming unblocked and the other two against New York running backs. Two missed tackles hurt as well, one of which was a missed sack of Smith.
Signature Play: 2Q 11:16. Mack quickly beat tight end Jeff Cumberland outside to force Smith outside, where his teammates finished the play with a forced fumble.
New York Jets – Performances of Note
Antonio Allen, CB: +3.1
Breakdown: The converted safety allowed four of six passes into his coverage to be completed, but those plays yielded just 26 yards, while he got his hands on one of the incompletions and had close coverage on the other. Was particularly impressive closing on short passes and limiting yards after the catch, with three of his five tackles (no misses) counting as defensive stops.
Signature Play: 3Q, 9:06. Allen stuck to WR Denarius Moore a hitch route, made a nice play to turn and get his hand on the ball to ensure the incompletion.
Muhammad Wilkerson, DL: +3.4
Breakdown: Maybe not the disruptive force we’re used to seeing in terms of pressure, but still managed to have a huge impact with three batted passes (one caught by a lineman), two of which came on consecutive plays with the Raiders backed up inside their own 10-yard line.
Signature Play: 4Q 13:37. On the second of those plays, Wilkerson read the quarterback and broke off of his rush to prevent a completion in the right flat.
Chris Ivory, RB: +1.5
Breakdown: Splitting time with Chris Johnson in the backfield, Ivory forced six missed tackles on 10 carries and put the game out of reach with his spectacular 71-yard touchdown run at 8:16 of the fourth.
Signature Stat: A season after finishing with a top-five Elusive Rating, Ivory currently sits well above any other Week 1 rusher at 576.0, aided by those six missed tackles and an average of more than nine yards after contact per rush.
PFF Game Ball
This one goes to Muhammad Wilkerson, who continues to be one of the league’s best defensive lineman and is off to a fast start in 2014.
Follow Thomas on Twitter