Oakland Raiders Vs. Jets Preview: Keys to the Game

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

5. Keep the Carr Steady

Last week, Derek Carr was able to sling the ball around and throw three touchdowns and essentially accomplish whatever he wanted to throwing the ball, as has been the case in each Raider victory this season. But when Derek has had difficulty throwing the ball, the team has struggled, in large part because Carr tries to do too much or gets too impatient or too emotional. Passes sail high, miscommunications happen, turnovers occur, and the Raider offense struggles.

This Jets defense has all the hallmarks of the type of defense that can harass Carr. They like to blitz and get creative to get pressure, and they can very often finish. Their corners – especially Darrelle Revis – can take wideouts completely out of their routes or, even worse, can fool quarterbacks into thinking they are uncovered, leading to picks.

The Jets defense may not have the edge rushing presence that the Broncos defense has, but can definitely get in a QB’s face and can definitely close off his receivers, leading to frustration and mistakes.

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  • Bill Musgrave and the offensive coaching staff must make sure to keep their young quarterback focused and calm, especially in the early going, in what is going to be an incredibly tough outing for him. They can help him through scheme by starting the game with a heavy dose of run plays and high-percentage short passes, hoping that the athleticism of the Raider backs and receivers allow for some extra yards on these plays and maybe cause the Jets to have to change what they do defensively.

    Carr is a passionate young player and that is definitely a good thing. He has an infectious enthusiasm about the game that he spreads to the players around him in the huddle and on the sideline, so he shouldn’t be told to start acting like a stoic football monk just because he is facing a tough opponent. But he must go out and take what the defense gives him and not try to do too much, even if he is getting frustrated early on, because this defense is not going to forgive any mistakes made in the heat of the moment. If he can stay calm and go out and do his job, the Raiders will have a good chance in this one.