Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders based on their performance against the New York Jets in a 37-27 loss. Here are McDonald’s grades and explanations:
Matt McGloin finished 18 of 31 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but was 13 of 21 for 174 yards and threw both touchdowns in the second half. Had no first-half rhythm and was fortunate that an interception thrown out of his own end zone to Ed Reed resulted only in three points for the Jets. Rebounded nicely, though. Terrelle Pryor had two short completions (including a third-down conversion) in his lone drive. A career-high 130 yards receiving and seven catches for emerging wide receiver Rod Streater.
Considering the skeleton crew the Raiders brought to New Jersey against one of the NFL’s top rushing defenses, it was better than expected. Marcel Reece had 19 carries for a career-high 123 yards including a 63-yard touchdown run. The Raiders had 150 yards in all, although the lion’s share came in the one big chunk. Not a lot of negative plays.
Receivers broke open all day for Geno Smith (16 of 25 for 219 yards, one touchdown, one interception), who found the Raiders the perfect tonic for an awful November. The Raiders got little or no defensive pressure, with safety Brandian Ross getting the lone sack. Jeremy Kerley’s 25-yard touchdown grab came in a glut of five along with one Jets receiver and three Raiders defensive backs. Kevin Burnett’s interception of Smith resulted on zero points because of a missed field-goal attempt.
A team that has run often but not particularly well picked up steam late against the Raiders and finished with 32 carries for 145 yards. Smith had 50 yards on five rushes, including an 8-yard TD run, and even though the Raiders have a quarterback that runs the read option, their defense looked at times as if they had never seen it before. Chris Ivory (76 yards, 18 carries) carried defenders into the end zone on his 15-yard TD run.
A missed 52-yard field-goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski essentially negated Kevin Burnett’s interception, ruining a chance at an easy short-field score. Then to make matters worse, New York’s resulting possession on the 42-yard line was turned into a 58-yard scoring drive, with Smith hitting Kerley from 25 yards out. A blown blocking assignment led to a blocked punt by Anthony Allen that he also recovered for a touchdown.
Was there any area in which the Raiders looked like a sharp, well-prepared team ready to conquer their East Coast road demons? It almost appeared as if the Raiders took the Jets lightly, and they haven’t been good enough to take anyone lightly for a decade. No issues with McGloin getting the bulk of the quarterback work, but is there no scenario when he and Pryor are on the field at the same time? A playmaker of Pryor’s skill can’t be used?