It should be a lot easier for Week 2 with the Raiders (1-0) opening the home schedule against the lowly Jets (0-1), who many believe could flirt with an 0-16 season.
The Raiders are favored by 13 points, according to the Westgate sports book. There’s not much to like on the Jets’ roster, especially on offense, but games aren’t won on paper.
Here are five things to watch for the New York Jets:
1. The Jets don’t have the luxury of trotting out a Derek Carr-type of quarterback on the field every Sunday. New York will try to survive the season with a three-man carousal under center. Journeyman Josh McCown got the nod to continue starting even with a poor performance during the loss against the Buffalo Bills last week. Young quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty haven’t shown signs of progress. There’s a high possibility one of those quarterbacks replaces McCown by halftime. The Jets are hoping to land UCLA’s Josh Rosen or Southern California’s Sam Darnold in next year’s draft.
2. To make it harder on the three quarterbacks, the Jets might have the worst receiving corps in recent memory. The Jets entered the month of September with Robby Anderson and ArDarius Stewart as the top two receivers. New York traded star defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to Seattle for Jermaine Kearse, who instantly became the Jets’ top wideout. The Jets recently brought back Jeremy Kerley for some added help. The Raiders’ secondary, which struggled last season and during the preseason, might look good for a second straight week against a weak Jets’ offense.
3. The Jets’ strong suit on offense could be in the backfield with Bilal Powell and Matt Forte. But that wasn’t the case versus the Bills with Powell struggling to get anything going on the ground with 22 yards on seven carries. The Jets might have some success running up the middle against the inexperienced Raiders linebackers.
4. If the Jets avoid a winless season, that means the defense stepped up to eke out a few victories. Pro Bowl defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams will look to have bounce back games after allowing the Bills to run all over them a week ago. LeSean McCoy had no problem running through the Jets’ strongest position. It doesn’t get any easier against Marshawn Lynch. Wilkerson, who received a five-year, $86 million contract in 2016, could be a top 5 defensive linemen when healthy and motivated.
5. Jamal Adams, the Jets’ No. 6 overall pick in 2017, showed flashes of being a future all-pro strong safety during his debut last week. New York coach Todd Bowles raved about his performance and called him a physical and smart player. New York also has high hopes for free safety Marcus Maye. It gets harder for the rookie safeties who will need to come up with big plays to keep Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree out of the end zone. It’s going to be a long year for Jets fans, but watching Adams and Maye progress could be the lone bright spot.
Contact Gilbert Manzano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.