Game 2 of the Tom Cable era brings in legendary QB Brett Favre and his New York Jets. On paper, this game looks like it will be competitive. But these are the Raiders, so we really have no idea who will show tomorrow.
The Jets have been mediocre at best. They’ve played well in one of their five games (the 56-35 track meet against Arizona). Lackluster wins against Miami and Cincinnati surrounded ugly losses against New England and San Diego. They’re a good defense team, but repeated offensive ineptitude keeps their opponents in most games.
Our Raiders are even more unpredictable. They embarrassed the Chiefs and lost late leads against both Buffalo and San Diego. Those games were sandwiched between whippings by Denver and New Orleans. The offense has been almost non-existent. So, it’s usually on the defense.
As for this week, I’m expecting a close battle. The Raiders once again need to focus on utilizing their running game. Long, sustained drives can keep this close. However, this plays into the Jets’ strength as their run defense is one of the best in the league (less than 70 yards against per game). The Jets throw the ball around a lot more than usual (since Brett Favre joined the squad). They’ve got top tier receivers in Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery. This would play into the Raiders’ strength, but their “strong” pass defense hasn’t quite been there (additionally, Michael Huff has been benched and replaced by Hiram Eugene at free safety).
All in all, this is a game the Jets are expected to win. No one expects anything from the Raiders the rest of this season. I’m not even sure the Raiders expect anything from themselves. I’m expecting a slow game where the Jets offense struggles enough to keep the Raiders around. As usual, the Raiders will find a way to not win.
My prediction – Jets 20, Raiders 16.