Rex Ryan and the Jets can send a big Christmas card to the Raiders after this one. Oakland spotted the Jets ten points on a couple of turnovers in the second quarter, ten points they could never make up as the Jets outlasted Oakland, 37-27 at MetLife Stadium.
With the pressure of the New York media and fans barring down on them, the Jets somehow managed to get a victory to keep their very unlikely playoff hopes alive for at least one more week.
Geno Smith was uninspiring. He made plenty of mistakes, overthrowing a number of receivers, and throwing an interception. He could have easily thrown three picks, if the Raiders could have held on to the football.
Still the guy made plays when he had to. Smith completed 16 of 25 passes for 219 yards a touchdown. He even ran for 50 yards and a score. Smith's two best drives of the day came in critical situations when he his team needed a response from their usually inept quarterback.
He led a 10 play 65 yard drive in the third quarter in which he used his own legs to get the job done. On a big third down, Smith dashed for a seven yard run for a first down to initiate a unnecessary roughness charge on Oakland, moving the ball to the Raider 26. Four plays later, Smith carried the rock into the end zone on an eight yard sprint to make it 27-10.
After the Raiders answered the Jets touchdown to cut the deficit back to ten, Smith once again keyed a Jets rally when he dashed for 32 yards to the Oakland 20, setting up Chris Ivory's touchdown to push the lead back to 37-20.
Yet, that was really it as far as excitement from the Jets is concerned.
The Jets defense was horrible. They couldn't stop a nose bleed let alone Matt McGloin and the Raiders offense. Oakland tallied 383 yards of offense, including 150 on the ground. The gave up big plays, and tackled poorly, certainly not a positive for a Rex Ryan coached defense.
Marcell Reese's 63 yard touchdown to open the second half brought Oakland back into the game at 20-10, and Rod Sterner's 48 yard touchdown catch and run cut the Jets lead to 27-17. New York was lucky that the Raiders wasted six and a half minutes in the fourth quarter to score their final touchdown of the day, because they had no answer for the Raiders.
The real reason the Jets won this game had to do with two plays in the second quarter. With Oakland backed up against their own goal line, McGloin threw a pick right into the hands of Ed Reed at the Raiders 10 yard line.
The Jets couldn't do anything with it, and Smith almost threw the back right back to the Raiders if it weren't for Nick Roach dropping a sure pick. The Jets settled for a field goal to make it 13-3.
On the next Raider possession, Antonio Allen snuck around a couple of Raiders, blocked the punt, and picked it up in the end zone for a touchdown to make it 20-3. There are the 10 points the Raiders spotted the Jets in this game. They could never recover from those two miscues.
So how would I grade the Jets performance against the Raiders? C-. It was uninspiring and if it weren't for the Raiders being even worse than the Jets, they could have lost this game. The Jets (6-7) are somehow still in the playoff mix, but, those dreams are sure to die next week in Carolina.