There’s no shame in the Jets’ 30-23 defeat at the hands of the Patriots last Sunday.
The Jets (4-2) pushed one of the NFL’s remaining five unbeaten clubs — pending Thursday night’s Dolphins-Patriots game — in hostile territory. And they did so with perhaps their best offensive weapon, running back Chris Ivory, slowed all game by hamstring issues.
On the surface, the challenge won’t be so tough on Sunday against the Raiders (3-3). But this visit to Oakland won’t be the cakewalk it might have appeared to be in recent seasons. Here’s what the Jets must do to avoid a two-game slide.
Don’t sleep on ’em
The Raiders haven’t finished above .500 since losing to the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. That was at the end of the 2002 season. But this team is different. They’re getting hard-earned wins with their most talent on offense and defense in more than a decade.
Embrace the grind
While Oakland’s defense is sturdy against the run (tied for fourth in yards per carry allowed), the Jets must commit to their strength and hand off the ball often. Only two teams rack up more yards per game than Gang Green.
Contain Carr, Cooper
The Raiders’ budding touchdown tandem of quarterback Derek Carr and receiver Amari Cooper is off to a great start in Cooper’s rookie year. Still, the Jets should like their chances with cornerback Darrelle Revis likely getting to know Cooper all afternoon.