Sheldon Richardson saw the words flash across the screen and just laughed.
His former teammate, Raiders guard Austin Howard, had said his new team -- which hadn't won in the Eastern Time Zone since 2009 -- could "push'' the Jets "around a little bit'' at MetLife Stadium.
Richardson found the comment even more comical Sunday afternoon as he sat at his locker after the Jets' 19-14 win in their season opener. The stat sheet told the real story, one of domination by Rex Ryan's team: 402 total yards to 158 and 212 rushing yards to just 25.
"It wasn't possible,'' Richardson said of the Jets being bullied in their backyard. "Why would it be? Do you see how we play defense?''
Howard's words, however, struck a chord with his former coach, who without being provoked referenced the remarks in his opening statement.
"We knew the Raiders were going to come in here and push us around,'' Ryan said. "And they certainly did that to the tune of 25 yards rushing.''
The Jets' new-look offense showed off a little bit of everything: some three-back sets, lots of read-option plays and even Geno Smith and Michael Vick on the field at the same time. But a good old-fashioned running game made the difference. Chris Ivory's 71-yard touchdown run, the longest of his career, sealed the win, and Ryan's suffocating defense got the best of rookie quarterback Derek Carr.
Even though the Jets won, penalties and poor decision-making by Smith remain major issues. The Jets were flagged for 11 penalties, three committed by guard Willie Colon, for 105 yards. And Smith began his second season just as he did last year: with an interception and a fumble.
"I am still growing, I'm still learning, I'm still gaining experience,'' said Smith, who was picked off by Charles Woodson in the first quarter. That one led to a Raiders' touchdown. His next turnover, a fumble at the Oakland 4-yard line, ruined a drive in the second quarter.
"You need to move forward,'' Smith said. "I'll know I need to get the ball out sooner to not give that guy the opportunity, or just not throw it in the first place.''
Smith (23-for-28, 221 yards) broke off several nice runs of his own, gaining 38 yards on 10 carries, with a long gain of 17. He connected with Chris Johnson (13 rushes, 68 yards; five catches, 23 yards) on a 5-yard shovel pass to make it 10-7 Jets in the second.
Seven Jets caught passes, including Eric Decker (five for 74 yards). But for all the training camp talk about Smith's confidence in the huddle, he showed he still needs to work on making decisions. Leading 13-7 with under 10 minutes left, Smith held the ball too long on third-and-3. Safety Tyvon Branch sacked him for a 19-yard loss, taking the Jets out of field-goal range.
Antonio Allen, a safety who made his first NFL start at cornerback, told Newsday prior to the game that the Jets could "rattle'' Carr. He was right. After completing his first seven passes, Carr fell victim to the defensive genius of Ryan, who is 8-3 against rookie quarterbacks. But afterward, Ryan stressed the missed opportunities on offense and defense.
"This should have been a rat kill and it wasn't,'' he said, visibly frustrated.
Ryan also harped on not getting any takeaways.
"I don't even want to [talk about it],'' rookie safety Calvin Pryor said of the would-be pick- 6 he dropped at midfield. "It was crazy. As soon as I was about to catch the ball, I saw the end zone, I saw white jerseys and I was trying to run before I got the ball. I got to make that play next time.''
While Ryan seemed miffed at Howard's comments, Howard told ESPN.com his quote was taken out of context. His former teammates, however, weren't at all upset.
"He played for us, so no, it wasn't a surprise,'' Richardson said, adding that Howard is known for talking trash. "It was just a joke. We laughed it off. We were teasing him in the game 'cause they only rushed for 25 yards.