And like that, the New York Jets' promising season unraveled a little bit, with a 34-20 loss at the Oakland Raiders dropping them to 4-3 on the season. It was the second straight loss for the Jets after a tough result last weekend at the New England Patriots.
It was a game as ugly as the scoreline for the Jets. A thumb injury to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick saw him yanked from the game in the first quarter as Geno Smith, the incumbent starter, stepped onto the field for the first time all season. Smith was understandably rusty at first as he threw into double-coverage and was picked off in the second quarter.
On their first four possessions, the Jets opened the game with a field goal then punted twice before Smith threw the interception.
To his credit, Smith settled down in the second half. He orchestrated a third quarter touchdown drive where he completed all six of his pass attempts for 68 yards, capped off by a four-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.
On the other side of the field, Raiders second-year quarterback Derek Carr finished 23-for-36 for 333 yards and four touchdowns.
Three Things We Learned from Week 8:
Crabtree’s Not Too Shabby – A touchdown catch in the second quarter where he steam-rolled would be tacklers Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie helped pace Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a big day. With all the talk about Amari Cooper, it was the veteran Crabtree who put in a star-worthy performance against the vaunted Jets secondary. Crabtree finished with seven receptions for 102 yards, his second highest receiving total of the season. Cooper, who was shadowed by Darrelle Revis most of the game, had five catches for 46 yards. It was the lowest receiving yardage of his young NFL career.
Cromartie’s Terrible Game – Carr linked up twice in the first half to beat Cromartie in coverage for touchdowns, part of a big first half where the Raiders raced out to a 21-6 lead. Cromartie is showing diminishing returns in his second stint with the team as his physical skill-set seems to be on the decline. He was never a strong player technically and shied away from physical, press coverage. Now that his wheels are slowing down, he’s getting exposed far more.
Getting Run Over – The Jets came into this Week 8 game with the league’s top run defense, allowing 71.5 yards per game. But against the Raiders, they looked confused and were physically pushed off the line of scrimmage by a tough Oakland offensive line. Latavius Murray burst out, topping 100 yards by the third quarter to finish with 20 carries for 113 yards.