Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold had talked about his team’s confidence, even as his Jets were a three-point home underdog to Oakland. The Raiders traveled to Exit 16B led by QB Derek Carr’s steady play and Rookie of the Year favorite, running back Josh Jacobs. From the moment Darnold and his offense received the ball, their confidence shined brightly.
The Raiders kicked a field goal on their opening drive to go up 3-0; they would not add to that total through the rest of the game. Darnold led a drive deep into the red zone and threw a touchdown pass which was negated on a penalty call. Scoring on the opening drive of their fifth consecutive game, Gang Green settled for a field goal to tie the score.
After a quick series from Oakland, Darnold led a 96-yard scoring drive, keeping the ball for himself on a four-yard option rush for the score. The Jets added a second field goal, and both team missed a field goal attempt as the first half ended at 13-3.
The third quarter belonged entirely to Adam Gase’s squad. A short pass to Braxton Berrios turned into a 69-yard play to the Oakland one. Darnold then hit tight end Ryan Griffin in the end zone. Robby Anderson snagged two passes including a score on the next drive on a short field. With one hand, cornerback Brain Poole scooped a deflected pass from Carr for a 15-yard pick six.
New York’s defense held tight through the fourth quarter for the 34-3 final, a pasting of the wild card contending Raiders. Oakland mustered only 208 total yards of offense, and Jacobs was held to season-low 34 yards. Carr, sacked once and hit six times, was pulled from the game in the third period. The game played out as a prototypical trap game for the Raiders, who face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansan City Chiefs, their division leading rivals, next week.
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Darnold finished the game 20-29 for 315 yard, two passing scores and one rushing. His rating was 127.8, his highest of the year. He spread the ball around to nine different receivers, led by Anderson with four catches for 86 yards and one score. Le’Veon Bell picked up 49 yards on the ground and 108 total yards from scrimmage.
With a slight window for a playoff spot still open, the Jets, +10000 for a postseason berth, welcome the winless Bengals to the Meadlowlands next week. The Ryan Finley experiment has apparently ended for Cincinnati as Andy Dalton returns to the starting lineup at quarterback, having been benched for the rookie in October. New York is a 3.5-point favorite at -110, with a 40.5 over/under.