The New York Jets are coming off a disappointing loss where they outplayed the undefeated Patriots for three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Jets didn’t make the plays in big spots that would’ve added to their lead and Tom Brady took advantage of it. The Jets now have to travel out west, which is not always a place they enjoy traveling to. The Oakland Raiders are 3-3 and have a veteran head coach Jack Del Rio at the helm now along with an abundance of youth and talent. This is going to be a battle for four quarters for Gang Green as they try to get their 5th win of the season, surpassing their win total from last year.
Amari Cooper vs. Darrelle Revis
Amari Cooper has certainly lived up to the hype so far in 2015 and appears to be the next young phenom at his position. Cooper already has 33 receptions for over 500 yards and three touchdowns on the season. He is agile off the line and a savvy route runner. Cooper’s acceleration off of a cut is outstanding and really allows him to create the immense amount of separation he’s gained so far this season. One thing we’ve seen so far this season is that Darrelle Revis can be beat at times by comeback routes and in-breaking routes as well. There’s no doubt Revis will use some of his veteran smarts to make things difficult for Cooper in this game, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Cooper makes a few plays on the All-Pro. This will be a fun matchup to hone in on for fans because it could become a chess match both ways. Revis will use his sound technique to get Cooper off his route, and Cooper will adjust and make changes to work himself open.
Jets Rushing Offense vs. NFL’s #3 Rushing Defense
Chris Ivory was far from 100% when the Jets played the Patriots and its evident that won’t change anytime soon. The Jets took a huge risk last week in keeping only two running backs on the active game day roster and it hurt them. This week should be the Jets debut of running back Stevan Ridley. The former Patriot has been practicing fully and it shouldn’t come as any surprise if the Jets activate him, Stacy, and Ivory this week. Ridley will bring that true #2 running back to the Jets and if he can show improvement in the ball security area, he’s going to be a nice backup to a healthy Ivory.
The Raiders’ run defense is stingy, especially at home. They swarm to the football quickly and don’t allow offensive lines to open up big holes. The Jets may be without center Nick Mangold this week which could make things even more complicated in both the run and pass game. Dan Williams, Aldon Smith, Khalil Mack, and linebackers Malcolm Smith and Curtis Lofton are quick and hard to block. Without All-Pro center Mangold, the Jets could be facing a tough road ahead in the run game on Sunday.
The Ageless Wonder, Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson, the 39-year old, eight-time Pro-Bowler is still playing at a tremendously high level for the Raiders. Woodson has 20 tackles, 6 pass deflections and 4 interceptions already in 2015. He is a ball hawk safety and Ryan Fitzpatrick better make himself aware of where Woodson is at all times. If the Jets struggle in the run game, Fitzpatrick will be forced to air the ball out more and that is where Woodson is the most dangerous. Add a vaunted pass rush to the mix and it could spell disaster for Fitzpatrick and company. Charles has been somewhat of a Jets killer, having an interception in three of his last four games against the Jets dating back to 2006. Jets fans should expect to find #24 over the top of Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker most of the day. The Jets are going to have to run a lot of underneath routes and crossing routes to minimize the chances that Woodson can make a play on the ball. The Jets have had success running those routes with Eric Decker and last week Jeremy Kerley, so it should be a lot of quick decisions underneath. If they let Woodson make a difference it could be a tough day out west for the New York Jets.