It’s a new era for the Silver and Black as we saw last Sunday in the Raiders 30-to-6 rout of the New York Giants. The Raiders improved to 4-5 with the win. The question that fans are asking is can the Raiders carryover momentum from the first win under interim head coach Antonio Pierce in the Sunday Night Football meeting against the New York Jets?
At the beginning of the season we expected to see a Jimmy Garoppolo-Aaron Rodgers matchup. Instead, the national TV audience will get rookie signal caller Aidan O’Connell vs. struggling Jets QB Zach Wilson. Jimmy G was benched by the new Raiders coaching regime. And Rodgers is still coming back from a Game 1 injury. The good news for Raider Nation is O'Connell has shown poise in his two starts this season. In the win over the Giants, he settled his team down and showed a good command of the Raiders offense. O'Connell was 16 of 25 for 209 yards and no turnovers. Furthermore, the offensive line kept the pocket clean. And Josh Jacobs controlled the ground game with 98 yards rushing, his best performance of the season.
The Jets offense has struggled under Zach Wilson. It might not be entirely Wilson's fault. Their offensive line has not provided protection and time for Wilson to throw the ball. Three of the starting five linemen have been through injuries. And Mekhi Becton was moved from the right to left side tackle due to Duane Brown's injury.
The game should come down to each team's defensive play. Last week vs. the Giants, the rejuvenated Raiders defense had eight sacks and Maxx Crosby recorded three by himself. In recent weeks Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has moved Crosby around the front from side to side and even split him outside in a wide-nine formation to make him more effective. At times he's been double and even triple teamed. The Raiders held the Giants to six points last week, the fewest this season.
The Raiders offense could struggle against an aggressive Jets defense Sunday. The Jets rank third in passing yards and touchdowns allowed. They have held down some of the top QBs in the league, including Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, this season. They create a lot of turnovers and are also strong against the run.
Injuries: Raiders right tackle Kolton Miller could miss just his third game in his six-year Raider career. Miller has a right shoulder injury and has been the anchor of the Raiders offensive line. He missed three days of practice this week and he could be replaced byJermaine Eluemunor or Thayer Munford. Linebacker Divine Deablo could be playing as he was cleared from the ankle injury that caused him to lose two straight games. Starting corner Macus Peters and fullback JakobJohnson are listed as questionable.