Jump to content

NFL Preview - Oakland (4-8) At N.Y. Jets (2-10)


Recommended Posts

NFL Preview - Oakland (4-8) At N.Y. Jets (2-10)

By Tony Moss,N

NFL Editor -- By the end of Sunday afternoon's scheduled tilt between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, television viewers might be lobbying for the network to switch to "Heidi."

The two franchises that were a part of that notorious game back in 1968 will square off at Giants Stadium on Sunday, but the two struggling teams are unlikely to put on a repeat of that NFL classic.

The homestanding Jets will bring a seven-game losing streak with them into Week 14, with the team's most recent misery suffered in the form of a 16-3 loss at New England last Sunday. Herman Edwards' depleted club has been outscored by a composite of 94-25 in its last four games. New York is one of three NFL teams (Green Bay, San Francisco) currently sporting a 2-10 record, with only the 1-11 Texans carrying a worse mark.

Also residing in last place as Week 14 begins is Oakland, which dropped to 4-8 with a 34-10 thrashing at the hands of the Chargers last week. The Raiders, who have lost four of their last five, can clinch last place in the AFC West with either their next loss or one more win for both Kansas City and San Diego.


The Raiders hold a 19-12-2 lead in their all-time regular season series with the Jets, but were 27-24 home losers in overtime the last time the teams met, in 2003. Oakland's most recent win in the regular season series took place in 2002, at home. The Jets were 23-22 winners when the teams last played at Giants Stadium, in 1997. Oakland's last road win in the series occurred in 1996.

In addition to the regular season series, the teams have split four postseason meetings all-time. The Jets defeated the Raiders in the 1968 AFL Championship and in a 1982 AFC Second-Round Playoff. Oakland returned the favor by downing New York in a 2001 AFC First-Round Playoff and a 2002 Second-Round Playoff.

The most infamous contest played between the two franchises took place on Nov. 17, 1968, when the Raiders came from behind in the waning moments to defeat the Jets, 43-32, in Oakland. NBC-TV ill-advisedly switched programming to the movie "Heidi" with 1:05 to play, just after the Jets had taken a 32-29 lead. The tilt has gone down in NFL legend as the "Heidi Game."

Edwards is 2-3 in his career against the Raiders, including 0-2 in playoff games. Oakland's Norv Turner, who will be meeting Edwards for the first time as a head coach, was 2-0 against the Jets during his tenure with the Redskins (1994-2000).


The big story for the Raiders this week is the expected first start of the season for longtime backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo has started just one game during his five NFL seasons, that a loss to the Lions on Nov. 2, 2003. The Washington product was injured in that contest and has not seen live action since. Tuiasosopo will replace Kerry Collins (3118 passing yards, 16 TD, 10 INT) who is third in the NFL in passing yards but has struggled to a 79.6 passer rating. The signal-caller will seek to throw to wideouts Randy Moss (45 receptions, 5 TD) and Jerry Porter (56 receptions, 4 TD), who both have work to do if they wish to post 1,000-yard seasons. Moss (771 yards), who has been hampered by injuries this season, recorded seven receptions for 70 yards in last week's loss to the Chargers. Porter (770 yards) had six catches for 50 yards in the defeat. Third wideout Doug Gabriel (24 receptions, 2 TD) had two grabs for 28 yards in the game, and tight end Courtney Anderson (23 receptions, 3 TD) scored the team's only touchdown of the night. The Raider line allowed three sacks to San Diego, and has now surrendered 32 on the year. Oakland is seventh in the league in passing offense (243.7 yards per game).

The Jets rank sixth in the league in passing defense (180 yards per game), though that figure has as much to do with opponents going to the run during the second half of blowouts as it does with the play of the defensive unit. Attempting to corral Moss and Porter this week will be cornerbacks Ty Law (52 tackles, 5 INT) and David Barrett (32 tackles, 3 INT), with free safety Erik Coleman (85 tackles, 2 INT) trying to take away the deep ball as well. Coleman had a game-high-tying 12 tackles in last week's loss. The trio of Law, Barrett, and Coleman has combined for 10 of the team's 13 picks this season. New York is tied for last in the league in sacks with 18, but managed to drop the Patriots' Tom Brady twice last Sunday. End John Abraham (42 tackles, 6.5 sacks) had one of the sacks to boost his team-leading total in that category.

Returning to Giants Stadium to face the team for which he served as a backup from 2001 through 2004 is Oakland running back LaMont Jordan (844 rushing yards, 61 receptions, 11 TD). Jordan needs 156 yards to post the first 1,000- yard season of his career, and is also in the running to become the Raiders' first 1,000-yard rusher since Tyrone Wheatley in 2000. Jordan was held to 65 total yards on 17 carries against San Diego last week, the bruiser's lowest output of the season to date. Fullback Zack Crockett (110 rushing yards, 1 TD, 10 receptions) made the most of his three touches versus the Bolts, carrying once for 24 yards and netting 13 yards on his two receptions. The Raiders are 28th in the league in rushing offense (84.9 yards per game).

Jordan will be running against a Jets defense that is a distant 29th in the league in rushing defense (137.7 yards per game), and one that allowed the formerly-stagnant Patriots ground game to amass 146 yards last week. Looking to prevent their former teammate from running roughshod will be the Jets linebacking trio of Jonathan Vilma (130 tackles, 1 INT), Mark Brown (60 tackles, 1 INT, 0.5 sacks) and Victor Hobson (67 tackles, 1 sack). Vilma, who leads the NFL in tackles, had 12 stops and a forced fumble against New England. Up front, tackles Dewayne Robertson (42 tackles, 3.5 sacks) and James Reed (47 tackles) will try to provide a presence on the interior. Robertson and Reed had six tackles each versus the Patriots, and Robertson added half-a- sack to the proceedings.


The biggest suspense for Jets fans this season, other than where the team will draft in April, is whether future Hall-of-Fame running back Curtis Martin (735 rushing yards, 5 TD, 24 receptions) will reach the 1,000-yard plateau for the 11th time in as many seasons in the league. Martin has just one 100-yard game to his credit this season, and would have to average 66.3 ground yards per contest in his final four outings in order to reach the mark. Martin was limited to 29 yards on 15 carries against the Patriots last Sunday, but did manage to chip in with four receptions for 26 yards out of the backfield. Backup rusher and rookie Cedric Houston (75 rushing yards) did not have a carry against New England, but did log an 11-yard catch. Fullback Jerald Sowell (20 receptions, 3 TD) played last week but did not have a reception for only the third time this year. The Jets are 31st in NFL rushing offense (77 yards per game).

The Raiders have been hot-and-cold against the run this season, ranking 22nd in NFL rushing defense (118.8 yards per game), but did a solid job against Chargers All-Pro LaDainian Tomlinson last Sunday. Oakland held Tomlinson to 86 yards on 25 carries without a touchdown, though backup Michael Turner did manage to score on the ground in the eventual blowout. Inside linebackers Kirk Morrison (93 tackles) and Danny Clark (78 tackles, 1 sack) were a large part of the run-stopping effort, with Morrison tallying a game-high 11 tackles and Clark pitching in with seven stops. The most consistent run-stoppers along the Silver and Black's three-man front have been end Bobby Hamilton (34 tackles, 1 sack) and tackle Ted Washington (33 tackles), who combined for eight tackles in San Diego. Hamilton also had a forced fumble and his first sack of the year in the game. Washington (thigh) is considered questionable for Sunday.

Despite some calls from Jets fans for the team to go with either Vinny Testaverde or even Kliff Kingsbury at quarterback, New York will give Brooks Bollinger (859 passing yards, 3 TD, 5 INT) his sixth start of the season this week. The mobile Bollinger gives New York's offense the best chance for success behind a dismal offensive line, though the third-year pro has been able to engineer a total of just one touchdown drive in his last four games. Last week, the Wisconsin product completed 15-of-37 passes for 135 yards with an interception. Wideouts Laveranues Coles (57 receptions, 2 TD) and Justin McCareins (31 receptions) were both quiet in the loss, with Coles catching four passes for 35 yards and McCareins managing just one catch for four yards. Third receiver Jerricho Cotchery (11 receptions) had two receptions for 16 yards in the defeat, and tight end Doug Jolley (17 receptions) posted two grabs of his own. The Jet line has allowed a bloated 37 sacks on the year, including two last week. New York is 27th in the league in passing offense (164.8 yards per game).

Bollinger would be well-advised to take some chances downfield against an Oakland team that has an NFL-low three interceptions through 12 games. The Raiders didn't put up much resistance against San Diego's Drew Brees last week, allowing Brees to complete 17-of-22 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha (47 tackles) and Renaldo Hill (68 tackles) will match up with Coles and McCareins, with safeties Stuart Schweigert (62 tackles, 1 INT) and rookie Fabian Washington (29 tackles) among those lending support. Looking to break through to Bollinger via the pass rush will be end Derrick Burgess (40 tackles, 11 sacks), the NFL's co-leader in sacks as Week 14 begins. Oakland had two sacks against Brees last Sunday, and now has 27 on the year. Tackle Terdell Sands (6 tackles), one of the players filling in for the injured Warren Sapp (shoulder), had the first sack of his pro career last week. The Raiders are 19th in the league in passing defense (208.5 yards per game).


There is little doubt that the Raiders have more talent than the Jets at this stage, but that doesn't mean Oakland will actually show up at Giants Stadium on Sunday. It is hard to believe that the Raiders - save Jordan, of course - will come in very motivated to win a meaningless game against an uninspiring opponent like the Jets. For all its problems this year, New York has generally played hard, and in a home game that seems winnable, look for Herman Edwards' team to come out with some fire in attempt to end its losing skid.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jets 15, Raiders 13

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...