The New York Jets head into their Week 12 matchup with the Oakland Raiders with the NFL's top-ranked run defense, so Derek Carr needs to attack through the air.
In a season that has been plagued by injuries, trades, trade rumors, distrust and disappointment for the New York Jets there is one constant, their run defense. The Jets have the NFL's best rushing defense, allowing only 79 yards per game and 3 yards per carry, despite the fact the team has won only three games this season, so Derek Carr and the Raiders will have to do damage through the air.
In order to open the running game, Jon Gruden must game plan to open the field to maintain the integrity of the defense. That means Derek Carr must attack the Jets secondary early and aggressively. With the Jets running a 3-4 Defense, Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams likes to throw out a lot of looks at opposing teams, and is very comfortable blitzing the quarterback with his safety Jamal Adams.
Luckily for the Raiders, Carr has a quick release, and has a current completion percentage of 62.5% and has thrown for five touchdowns and one interceptions while under pressure.
Expect to see Carr enlist his troops for full support this Sunday, as the Raiders take on a Jets defense that has had more than their fair share of issues against the pass in 2019. Opening up the passing lanes will make it more accessible for Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner Josh Jacobs to gain ground on the turf, as well as maximizing on the mismatch in coverage for more air utilization.
The New York Jets are 12th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 253 yards per game and 7.2 yards per catch. Carr is currently averaging 243 yards per game and 8.1 yards per catch with a receiving corp that looks to have finally built a team chemistry in their first year together.
I would expect Gruden to dial-up some plays to ensure Carr and Co. get started quickly to even out the field and control the line of scrimmage.
Carr's knowledge of the playbook and comfort in his second year of Gruden's system is paying tremendous dividends, as it allows him to see the field better and audible at the line of scrimmage allowing the Raiders more opportunity to extend plays. Carr will need to be a field general this Sunday leading the Raiders into MetLife stadium prepared to continue on the road to the playoffs.