The Las Vegas Raiders beat the New York Jets 31-28 in a thrilling game that only the 2020 Jets could lose the way they did. Derek Carr hit Henry Ruggs on a 4th down pass as time was running down. How the Jets secondary let the receiver get behind them on the field-actually two times in a row is beyond anything you ever saw in an NFL game. Sam Darnold except for three plays, played his best game of the season. Unfortunately the three plays included two strip fumbles and one interception. Nevertheless Sam led his team back in the fourth quarter putting them in a position to win the game. Unfortunately it was the defense that let the offense down after they played a very good game themselves. Ty Johnson filling in for an injured Frank Gore had a great game rushing for 104 yards. Josh Adams also played well rushing for 74 yards on 8 carries. The running success seems worked best when the Jets ran over the left side of their line namely Mekhi Becton and Pat Elflein who was picked up two weeks ago. On defense Neville Hewitt played a great game with 12 tackles and a sack. Quinnen Williams continued his excellent play. Even the young Jets secondary played with a lot of effort for just under four quarters. What usually happens to a team like the Jets that lack talent the opposition wears them down in the second half. Today the Jets made the most of opportunities getting an interception and a fumble. Give Sam Darnold a ton of credit. He showed his best even with the turnovers. But remember when you have a running game, it makes the quarterback’s job easier.
In Jets opened the game moving down the field to score a touchdown as Sam Darnold hit three third down passes. Two of them went for first downs. One to Breshad Perriman and one to Denzel Mims. Then a third down pass was a completion for a touchdown to Crowder. The Jets were rolling and Sam Darnold looked pretty good. The Jets could not capitalize on a “tip drill” INT by Arthur Maulet The Raiders came storming back and it was the Darren Waller show. The Jets could not contain this tight end. They went down the field and Carr hit Waller for a 9-yard TD pass. In the quarter there was a bad third down pass interference on Bryce Hall.
In the second quarter the Jets continued to move the football. A good mix of runs and passes seemed to be working. After Frank Gore went out with a possible concussion Ty Johnson an Josh Adams looked effective. The offensive line was opening up holes and both running backs seemed to be making the right cuts. Darnold then hit Crowder for his second TD catch of the day. And inexplicitly Sergio Castillo missed the extra point and wasn’t even close. Right now if I’m Adam Gase I let Braden Mann kick the extra points and let Castillo just kick field goals. The Jets defense stiffened after giving up a couple of first downs and got the ball back. Right after Darnold hit Mims for 23-yards, on the next play the right defensive end went right around Meckhi Becton to strip Darnold of the ball. Right there you could feel the momentum changing. The Raiders connected on a field goal. When the Jets got the ball back, Sam Darnold threw a horrible interception. Derek Carr began to heat up and drove the Raiders down the field with a TD pass to Waller on a play that both Bryce Hall and Marcus Maye missed tackleing him in a way that looked embarrassing. When the Raiders kicked off the Jets began a modest drive as Darnold his Braxton Barrios on two consecutive passes. Another strip sack when the defender got around Becton stopped the drive. Derek Carr began to go to work but two consecutive sacks by the Jets by Neville Hewitt and Quinnen Williams end the first half with the Raiders ahead 17-13.
The Raiders opened the third quarter with a TD drive that lasted 7:08. Carr took it in with a TD run around the right side . The Jets showed no containment. Darren Waller was killing the Jets again on this drive. Neville Hewitt continued his great play on defense. He was a beast today. The Radiers went ahead 24-13. The Jets got nothing going offensively in the third quarter and we all thought the game was done.
In the fourth quarter the Jets got a good drive going mostly on runs by Adams and Johnson. Darnold scored on a TD run that ended with a scary helmet to helmet collision but Sam seemed fine. After a two-point conversion failed the Jets got a second chance because of a penalty. Darnold hit Mims for a completion for the two points as the Baylor rookie found the end zone for the first time this season. Javelin Guidry made a great play recovering a fumble.
Time and again in the fourth quarter the Jets ended up shooting themselves in the foot. A fourth down pass interference by Marcus Maye. The two final plays by the Raiders, one called back on a penalty and the second the winning touchdown, one has to ask how can the secondary let anyone get behind them. And why not put one safety at the goal line. I would have been concerned more putting more bodies in the secondary rather than trying to put pressure on Carr. The bottom line is the Jets are 0-12 and still in line for the first draft pick.
Still some questions have to be asked about the Jets. Why not throw to Chris Herndon? Why not target Denzel Mims more? Why can’t the Jet make extra points? And so on. Give the Jets coaching staff credit the team is still playing hard.
Marty Schupak has been a New York Jets football fan since 1964. His blog and Podcast is at: www.JetsRewind.com