Filed for Sunday print . . .
The Raiders can gain some measure of satisfaction from a brutal road stretch and end a 12-game losing streak in the Eastern time zone Sunday by beating the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
On one hand, the Jets (5-7) look to be the perfect foil, given the recent play of struggling rookie quarterback Geno Smith and a four-game losing streak with only a pair of field goals to show for their last eight quarters.
Then again, the Raiders haven’t beaten anyone in the East in the early time slot in three years, dating back to to a 27-24 win in Pittsburgh on Dec. 8, 2009.
It will be cold, windy and maybe with a touch of snow.
Bring it on, says Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin. McGloin grew up in Scranton, Pa. and played in college at Penn State. There are two busloads of family and Scranton natives numbering 200 or more hoping to see their favorite son end the Raiders’ miseries in the East.
“It’s not a statistic we’re proud of,’’ McGloin said. “Any time you’re traveling across the country to play, it’ll be difficult. But for me, it’s exciting to go back East and play in the cold.
“The weather is going to be a nice change for me. That stat is something we’re aware of and we’re keeping that in the back of our minds.’’
The Raiders are back where they started a month ago, losing 24-20 to the New York Giants at MetLife in Terrelle Pryor’s last start at quarterback on Nov. 11. The Raiders beat Houston on the road in their next start, lost at home to Tennessee and then fell in Dallas on on Thanksgiving.
The two trips to East Rutherford, N.J., plus Houston and Dallas, account for 9,400 miles worth of travel in a month.
Forcing the Jets’ Smith into a few turnovers would enable the Raiders to finish that stretch 2-2 and improve to 5-8 before finishing out the schedule with AFC West games against Kansas City, at San San Diego and the Denver Broncos in the regular-season finale at O.co Coliseum.
Smith, a second-round draft pick out of West Virginia, last completed more than nine passes in a game on Oct. 27. He was 4-for-10 with an interception at halftime last week in a 23-3 loss to Miami when coach Rex Ryan pulled him in favor of Matt Simms.
Responsible for 23 turnovers (19 interceptions, four lost fumbles), Smith was named by Ryan to start against the Raiders early on the week.
“Sometimes I think you can get a different perspective over there,’’ Ryan said of sending Smith temporarily to the bench. “The big thing is you want ot get back out there in the worst way, and that’s how he is. He’s bounced back before after a poor performance.’’
Free safety Charles Woodson told the NFL Network Smith is “like most young quarterbacks that come into this league and are thrown into the fire right away. He’s going to for the most part let you know where he’s going with the ball and teams are able to get their reads on him pretty quickly.’’
Woodson said the plan is to put pressure on Smith and “hopefully he’ll deliver that ball to us.’’
Raiders coach Dennis Allen is mindful that while Smith’s play has been poor for the last month, the quarterback also has four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime _ including a 30-27 win over the New England Patriots.
“Everybody’s dangerous in the NFL,’’ Allen said. “They wouldn’t be playing in this league if they didn’t have the capability of beating you.’’
— The Raiders placed safety Usama Young (stinger) and linebacker Kaluka Maiava (calf) on injured reserve, ending their seasons. They also waived defensive lineman Brian Sanford.
Three practice squad players were promoted to the 53-man roster _ cornerback Chance Casey, safety Shelton Johnson and linebacker Marshall McFadden.