ReFo: Raiders @ Jets, Week 14
Michael Renner looks at a game in which the Jets kept their playoff hopes alive. Nick Mangold's resurgence and Matt McGloin's mistakes were big factors in this game.
ReFo: Raiders @ Jets, Week 14
It was a must-win game for the New York Jets who came in grasping at playoff straws with their 5-7 record. Unlike other cities in the northeast, this year’s Super Bowl host site was a snowless football sanctuary. The Jets had an up and down first quarter with a field goal, a Geno Smith interception, and then a magnificent leaping Jeremy Kerley touchdown pass. The Raiders, on the other hand, stagnated with Matt McGloin at the helm for their first two drives and made the switch to Terelle Pryor who led a run heavy attack down the field for a field goal.
The Raiders then oddly let McGloin have the reigns again in the second quarter and he quickly threw a pick to Ed Reed. After a Nick Folk field goal made the score 13-3, Marquette King had his punt blocked and recovered for a touchdown by Antonio Allen. The Jets never looked back and poured on 17 more points in the second half for a 37-27 victory that wasn’t quite as close as the final score suggests.
The win moves the Jets to 6-7, a game back of the Ravens and Dolphins who sit tied for the final wildcard spot in the AFC. The Jets get to face the Dolphins in week 17, but they first have to deal with the 9-4 panthers next week in Charlotte.
The loss drops the Raiders to 4-9 with games against each of the other three AFC West members left on the schedule. With a depleted roster and loads of dead money; this year was an obvious rebuilding season. All Raiders’ fans can be hoping for at this point is improvement from their young players and future building blocks.
Oakland – Three Performances of Note
There may be no tougher unit against the run right now than the Jets’ down linemen. On Sunday Khalif Barnes found out the hard way. Kenrick Ellis, Sheldon Richardson, and Damon Harrison beat the Raiders guard a combined nine times against the run. The three flat out didn’t give an inch off the line of scrimmage. Even when Barnes tried to double team them he still couldn’t get the job done. With 14:18 left in the fourth quarter Barnes got help from center Stefen Wisniewski, but Richardson was still able to disengage and make a stop for a three yard gain. With the lowest run blocking grade of his career and a -5.4 overall grade, it was most certainly a day to forget for Barnes.
After averaging 4.6 yards per carry in 59 attempts last season it is quite amazing that it took this long for Reece to get feature back carries again. The 6’1” 240 pound full back looked like a bona fide running back last season with a +3.7 running grade. With no other options Reece took 19 handoffs for 123 yards and broke four tackles en route to a +1.6 grade. The sixth year back also caught two of five targets for 38 yards although he did drop an out route early in the third quarter when he didn’t get his head around in time. Rashad Jennings left some big shoes to fill with his +7.9 overall grade and 4.7 yards per carry, but if Reece’s past is anything to go by, the Raiders will be just fine at running back.
There is a lot to like about the potential for quarterback Matt McGloin(+0.2). The Penn State product flashes an arm that is capable of making all the throws and has compiled a 86.1 quarterback rating along with a +3.1 grade over his first five career games. There’s also quite a bit to be concerned about and he flashed the good and the bad on Sunday. His pocket presence still needs a lot of work as he’ll tend to drift backwards and sideways when he feels pressure. McGloin will take an 8 yard drop and quickly make it a 10 or 11 yard drop because he feels heat. His feet never stop pattering and it’s almost more nerve-racking than watching Peyton Manning. The undrafted rookie forces throws into coverage too frequently. His interception in the second quarter should have never been thrown. While he was hit as he threw it, he saw the pressure collapsing around him and still tried to make a perfect throw.
The good news is McGloin is more than capable of that perfect throw at times though. The slant touchdown pass to Rod Streater was beautifully drilled into a tight window. On Oakland’s last touchdown drive McGloin put an 18 yard fade just above the outstretched hand of Dee Milliner in a position where only Streater could catch it but the wide receiver dropped the potential touchdown. For the day McGloin was accurate on 22-30 targeted passes that included four drops and 38 yards of dropped passes. He’s already shown quite a bit more in the passing department than Terrelle Pryor and it will be interesting to see where the Raiders go at the position.
New York – Three Performances of Note
The Old Mangold
To say this has been a down year for Nick Mangold would be a tremendous understatement. Since 2008 the Jets center has finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and 6th in our center grading. This season he sits 27th and has been uncharacteristically abused in the run game with a negative overall grade for the first time ever. That all changed on Sunday however. The eighth year pro lined up a good portion of the day with a nose tackle square up on him (usually Stacy McGee) and more than held his own. Mangold rarely got pushed into the backfield and rotating the nose tackle away from the intended point of attack first and holding his ground to create a seal. He was rarely given guard help and didn’t need it because he simply didn’t need it. The center was also clean in pass protection, with no pressures allowed and finished with his highest grade of the season at +4.4.
A few weeks ago we rated the Raiders’ offensive line the 28th best in the NFL. Prior to the game it looked like Muhammad Wilkerson, one of our top graded 3-4 defensive ends could have a monstrous game. By half time though it was clear that wouldn’t be the case and he would in fact end with his worst grade of his career at -5.3. The third year pro quite frankly looked lackadaisical at times, letting himself get sealed out of plays repeatedly. While rookie Sheldon Richardson(+3.2) was holding the point on double teams and spinning off to make plays, Wilkerson kept getting washed out and just didn’t show the same fight to avoid them. Against the pass Wilkerson would notch a lone hurry and against the run, a lone stop. He also added an offside penalty on a third down late in the first quarter. It was an uncommon dreadful showing from a player we’ve come to expect so much more from.
Big Plays: Good and Bad
The styles of Ed Reed(-1.7) and Antonio Cromartie(-2.3) are going to clash at times this season and we literally saw it first hand on Sunday. Both are heavy risk takers in coverage, and both were caught gambling when a simple slant route led to a 48 yard cakewalk touchdown for Rod Streater. We also saw the other of both of their games though as Reed stepped in front of a crossing route intended for Andre Holmes midway through the second quarter. Then when the Raiders were trying to comeback late in the fourth quarter Cromartie played a back shoulder throw to Holmes beautifully and dropped a potential game ending interception. With as consistent as their run defense is, it’s curious that the Jets would employ such a boom or bust secondary. For the day Cromartie allowed 111 yards on four of seven targets while Reed yielded 30 yards on two of three targets.
– Chris Ivory broke five tackles for the day with four of them coming on his fourth quarter touchdown run.
– No Raiders’ defender collected more than two total pressures on the day.
– Geno Smith had an average time to throw of just 2.67 seconds, .39 seconds lower than his season average.
PFF Game Ball
Nick Mangold kept the Jets’ ground game rolling and gave Geno Smith clean pockets all day. The center finally found his form and earned this game ball.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner