The Raiders, as expected, aren’t downplaying the challenge posed by the New York Jets’ defense despite talk of tanking that has surrounded the team this year.
New York recently traded stud defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to Seattle, but the Jets (0-1) still have some formidable defensive pieces on paper. They’ll try and slow down Derek Carr and the versatile Raiders’ offense at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday during Oakland’s (1-0) home opener.
“I think they probably have one of the better fronts in the league,” Raiders’ coach Jack Del Rio said. “Their defensive front is as talented as any that we’ll face. They’re very aggressive in their scheme. The two safeties they drafted are, we think, really good football players. I know I liked ‘em both, grading them coming out of the draft.”
Those two safeties, No. 6 overall pick Jamal Adams out of LSU and second-rounder Marcus Maye from Florida, combined for 12 tackles and a tackle for loss in New York’s 21-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. And despite Richardson’s departure, the Jets boast a pair of formidable defensive ends in Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams.
Last season, the Jets’ defense ranked in the top five in rushing yards allowed per game, third-down stop rate and red-zone defense. In two full seasons under defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, the Jets have held opponents to 91.1 rushing yards per game, good for third-fewest in the league over that span.
Their next test is Marshawn Lynch, who New York coach Todd Bowles views as the same caliber runner as before he retired. That might be a problem for the Jets given how Bowles spoke of his defense Wednesday afternoon, three days after allowing 190 rushing yards on 4.5 yards per carry and a LeSean McCoy touchdown against the Bills.
“We got to get better,” Bowles said, “and last week we didn’t play as well as a group on defense.”
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The challenge only heightens against Oakland with a far better quarterback than Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor and a multitude of receiving threats on the other side of the ball. Yet Carr knows Bowles will try to make it harder to dissect his defense than what the signal-caller did against Tennessee in Week 1.
“Obviously playing a Coach Bowles-coached team a couple times, you see the pressures, you see the different coverages he …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports