The Oakland Raiders started their 2017 campaign with a solid 26-16 road win over the Tennessee Titans and will now return to Oakland to defend their home field against the New York Jets.
Jack Del Rio finds his team a two-touchdown favorite by Las Vegas standards, but the team needs to maintain a mentality that any team can win in the NFL.
The Raiders defense played well last week, allowing just one touchdown and three field goals to Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. The Raiders defense will be facing an easier task on paper this week in the New York Jets.
The Jets are led by veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who completed 26-of-39 passes for just 187 yards last week. His top target was former Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who led the team with seven receptions for 59 yards.
The Raiders secondary will also getting a boost this week as first round pick Gareon Conley is healthy and ready to join the defense. Conley has been out with a shin injury and will get his first snaps against the Jets, giving defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. another weapon to defend against the pass.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders offense will face a decent defense this week in the Jets. The Jets return many of the same players as last year in which they finished in the top five in rushing yards per game, third-down conversion rate and red zone scoring.
The Jets have struggled to defend against the run in their young season, allowing 190 rushing yards last week. This could mean for a big week for Marshawn Lynch and his young backup running backs. Getting the rushing attack going will also open up the passing lanes for Carr and his pass-catching weapons.
New York gave up just 218 passing yards last week to Tyrod Taylor and the Bills, but Carr and the Raiders passing offense will pose more problems. Expect Carr to spread the ball around just as he did last week, with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree leading the attack as they usually do.
With Sebastian Janikowski still on the IR with his back injury, it’ll be Giorgio Tavecchio handling the kicking duties for the Raiders once again. Tavecchio took the league by storm last week, making all of his field goal attempts, including two 50-plus attempts. Tavecchio will face another challenge this week in the infield dirt located at the Coliseum. The former Cal kicker has been with the Raiders for the last few preseasons so he does have experience on the dirt, but it will be interesting to see how well he handles it.
A win this week will give the Raiders their first 2-0 start since 2002, the last year they went to the Super Bowl. The Raiders will be back on the road next week, flying across the country to take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football.