In 2019, the Raiders were 6-4 and on the inside track of the AFC playoff picture before losing five out of their final six games. The first of those losses came against the Jets, who, like the Raiders, finished the 2019 season with a 7-9 record. The Raiders, who won six of their first nine games this season, are trying to avoid another late-season collapse after losing their last two games. Conversely, the Jets are five losses away from becoming the fifth team since the 1970 merger to finish with a winless record.
The Raiders are eight-point favorites to beat their old AFL rival, according to William Hill Sportsbook. Be sure to check out which of our CBS Sports NFL experts have picked the Raiders to cover by clicking here.
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Las Vegas is coming off of its worst game of the season, a 43-6 blowout loss to the Falcons. The Raiders committed a season-high five turnovers that included three fumbles by quarterback Derek Carr. Trailing by two scores at the start of the second half, Carr threw a pick-six that put the game out of reach.
While he struggled last week, the 2020 season has been a mostly positive one for Carr, who is completing 60.3% of his passes with 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Not surprisingly, his top-two targets have been tight end Darren Waller (64 catches, 542 yards, five touchdowns) and Hunter Renfrow (38 catches, 509 yards, two touchdowns). Newcomer Nelson Agholor leads the Raiders with six touchdown receptions, while rookie Henry Ruggs’ 18.4 yards per catch average is tops on the team. And while Josh Jacobs‘ 2020 season has been somewhat disappointing, Devontae Booker is averaging an impressive 5.5 yard per carry during his first season with the Raiders.
While their offense has improved from last season, the Raiders’ defense continues to be the team’s Achilles heel. Through 11 games, the Raiders’ defense ranks 28th in scoring, 27th in passing and third down efficiency, 31st in rushing and 22nd in red zone efficiency. The Raiders’ best defensive player has been defensive end Maxx Crosby, who has tallied half of the team’s sack total. Jeff Heath leads the Raiders with three interceptions, while fellow safety Johnathan Abram has two interceptions and leads the team with 63 tackles. Rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen has broken up a team-best 11 passes.
It’s safe to say that things have not gone according to plan when Adam Gase arrived in New York in 2019. The Jets traded safety Jamal Adams before the season started, and they released Le’Veon Bell after just 17 games with the team. New York has also traded away defensive veterans Steve McLendon and Avery Williamson for future draft picks.
Sam Darnold, who missed three games due to injury last season, has missed four games this season after suffering an injury to his throwing shoulder. In the seven games he has played in, Darnold has completed just 58.7% of his throws with three touchdowns and eight interceptions. In last week’s 20-3 loss to the Dolphins, Darnold threw two interceptions while being sacked three times. The final five games of this season could be perceived an Darnold’s audition for other teams, as the Jets are expected to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence if they are able to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
New York’s most consistent offensive player has been 37-year-old running back Frank Gore, who leads the Jets with 521 rushing yards. The NFL’s third all-time leading rusher, Gore is coming off his season-high 74-yard performance in last week’s loss to the Dolphins. Jamison Crowder (35 catches, 456 yards, three touchdowns) and Breshad Perriman (22 catches, 352 yards, three touchdowns) have been the Jets’ most productive receivers this season. Rookie Denzel Mims has started to show signs of his potential after being injured at the start of the season. Over the past three games, Mims has caught 11 of 23 targets for 200 yards.
While they’ve lost several significant pieces, the Jets’ defense has been tough against the run, as they are fifth in the league in average yards per carry allowed. The Jets’ defense is also sixth in the NFL in red zone efficiency. Linebacker Neville Hewitt leads the Jets with 91 tackles, 33 more than the team’s second-leading tackler, Marcus Maye. Nose tackle Quinnen Williams leads the team with five sacks, while defensive back Pierre Desir leads the team with three interceptions and eight passes defensed.
The Jets have been playing better over the past three weeks, while the Raiders appear to be backsliding. If New York’s offense can exploit the Raiders’ defense while coming up with a few turnovers of their own, the Jets are certainly capable of pulling off the upset while avoiding joining the ’08 Lions and ’17 Browns as the NFL’s only 0-16 teams.
Score: Jets 27, Raiders 24