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Other Week 8 Game Recaps

Week 8 Game Recap: New York Jets 20, Oakland Raiders 34

What you need to know

New York Jets

• The New York Jets learned that the fate of a team’s season can change on a single play. Ryan Fitzpatrick injured his left thumb, his non-throwing hand, on the game’s sixth play and exited. Fitzpatrick scrambled on a third down play and secured a first down, but went head first instead of sliding. Fitzpatrick gave way to Geno Smith—and everything started to fall apart on both sides of the ball. After chasing around Tom Brady and Co. last week, New York’s defense looked sluggish against a confident Oakland offense. New York’s tackling was uncharacteristically poor and the secondary was shredded by both Derek Carr and Latavius Murray. Personnel wise, Oakland exploited back-up corner, Marcus Williams who was filling in at safety for the injured Calvin Prior. The middle of the field was wide open for the duration of the game and Oakland’s dynamic playmakers exploited it all game long. Credit Darrelle Revis, though for his superb coverage on Amari Cooper, who was limited to just 55 yards.

• Monitor Brandon Marshall’s status throughout the week. Marshall went down twice during the game, once with a toe injury and a second time with an ankle injury, and was constantly talking to doctors on the sideline. Credit Marshall for only missing a few plays and battling through his ailments. During the fourth quarter, Marshall’s speed was comprised and dropped a sure-fire touchdown, but luckily, he finished the game.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders offense is humming. After scoring on their first seven drives last week, the Raiders scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions in Week 8 and did not punt for the first time until midway through the 4th quarter. The offense has so many ways to beat teams and Derek Carr is in complete command. The only slight concern is that the offense again struggled in closing out the game late. They were unable to possess the ball and bleed the clock in the fourth quarter. But that is nitpicking an otherwise stellar performance against a very talented Jets defense.

New York Jets

QB Geno Smith, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 42 - 265 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 34 - 0
Geno Smith came on in relief of the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick, but alike Fitzpatrick, suffered an injury to his left shoulder and his abdomen. Smith took a few big hits during the game, including a big shot to his abdomen on a 29-yard scramble in the third quarter. Smith should have ducked and went out of bounds, but opted to stay in bounds and paid the price. Late in the fourth quarter, Smith took a big shot from Ray Ray Armstrong on a passing play. Smith left his midsection exposed and Armstrong delivered a big blow. Smith missed the next plays, but came back to finish the game. On a performance basis, Smith had a dismal first half, including multiple three-and-outs and an interception, but settled in during the second half. Smith led two second half scoring drives as New York attempted to mount a late comeback. Midway through the third quarter, Smith hooked up with Eric Decker for a 7-yard touchdown. Decker ran a sharp post route and Smith fit the ball into a tight window. Decker and Smith developed a solid rapport last season, so it’s no surprise to see Smith look his way. Midway through the fourth quarter, Smith was able to scramble, extended the play and found Kellen Davis in the back corner of the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown. With Fitzpatrick likely sidelined for the next few weeks, Smith will have the opportunity to step up and show he can lead this team. If healthy, expect Smith to start next week against Jacksonville.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 8 offensive snaps, Pass: 4 - 5 - 46 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0
Ryan Fitzpatrick injured his left thumb on the game’s sixth play and gave way to Geno Smith. Fitzpatrick scrambled on a third down play and went head first instead of sliding. Fitzpatrick thumb got caught under the defender and he left the game until the final few plays of the game. Geno Smith came on in relief, but Fitzpatrick had to enter the game late in the fourth quarter after Smith took a big hit. Fitzpatrick was able to throw the ball downfield since the injury occurred to his non-throwing hand, but nonetheless, he entered the game in an emergency situation. The announcers indicated that Fitzpatrick may have suffered a ligament injury, but the severity isn’t known.

RB Chris Ivory, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 17 - 0, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (5 targets)
Chris Ivory had his worst performance to date, but credit Oakland’s underrated run defense for a superb effort. Ivory didn’t have anywhere to run and most of his carries went for 2 yards or fewer. Game flow was also an issue since New York fell behind 21-3 in the first half. Ivory was involved in the passing game, which was a positive sign. Nick Mangold also missed this game due to a neck injury, so New York relied upon an inexperienced, practice squad center, Wesley Johnson, to lead the offensive line. Johnson struggled with calls and protections, which did not make things any easier. Mangold lobbied to play, but the training staff held him out. Expect Mangold to return next week.

RB Zac Stacy, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
Bilal Powell was inactive, so Zac Stacy was inserted as Chris Ivory’s backup. Alike Ivory, Stacy did not find a lot of room to run and was a complete non-factor.

WR Brandon Marshall, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 108 - 0 (18 targets)
Brandon Marshall received a team-high 18 targets and found a lot of success against Oakland’s beatable secondary. Marshall asserted his will and easily beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage and ran free for the majority of the game. Injuries, however, limited his impact in the second half. Early in the fourth quarter, Marshall injured his right toe after he caught a deep pass down the right sideline. Marshall landed awkwardly out of bounds and was down for a few minutes. He was able to pop up and walk off, but missed a few plays and was seen talking to doctors. Luckily, Marshall re-entered the game, but injured his left ankle on a crossing route. Marshall was able to limp off the field under his own power, but once again, came back into the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Marshall was targeted deep down the left sideline and dropped a surefire touchdown pass. Marshall was clearly hobbled on the play, so his status bears watching during this upcoming week.

WR Eric Decker, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 60 - 1 (7 targets)
Batting through a knee injury, Eric Decker took a backseat to Marshall in the passing game, but made plays when called upon. Decker’s presence was felt during the third and fourth quarters as New York was attempting to mount a fourth quarter comeback. Decker caught a touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. Decker beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage, ran a sharp post route and secured a 9-yard touchdown. Credit Geno Smith for a tight throw on the scoring play. With Marshall hobbled during the fourth quarter, Decker became the focal point of New York’s passing attack. During New York’s final drive, Decker secured three catches, including a big 21-yard gain on a 4th-and-19 play. Decker has bought stability and consistently to this offense and may be asked to do more in the coming weeks.

WR Kenbrell Thompkins, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 41 - 0 (7 targets)
With Quincy Enunwa suspended and Devin Smith suffering from an ankle injury, Thompkins was activated off of New York’s practice squad. Thompkins did a lot of his damage when Marshall was out of the game, but credit him for making several big grabs on third down.

WR Jeremy Kerley, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 63 - 0 (5 targets)
Jeremy Kerley continues to make the most of his opportunities, operating as a difference maker in the slot. A lot of Kerley’s production occurred during New York’s comeback effort, but credit Kerley for finding creases in Oakland’s zone coverage. Kerley’s routes were sharp as he regularly ran free over the middle of the field.

TE Kellen Davis, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 1 - 1 (1 targets)
Serving primarily as a blocker, Kellen Davis caught a one-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Geno Smith was able to extend the play and found Davis in the back of the endzone. Davis was able to use his big frame to block out a smaller defender and come down with the touchdown.

TE Jeff Cumberland, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
Cumberland only caught one pass for seven yards as New York’s offense primarily operates out of three wide receiver looks.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 36 - 333 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0
Carr carried himself with a real confidence and swagger and was in total command of the offense. He was extremely accurate and made great decisions with the ball. Many of his incompletions were either dropped by the receivers or smartly thrown away. Much of Carr’s production is due to his receiver’s ability to make big plays after the catch. He hit running back Taiwan Jones with a short pass that Jones took down the sideline for a 59 yard score. Carr also hit Michael Crabtree for a 36-yard touchdown over the middle on which Crabtree broke a number of tackles to get in the end zone. But Carr is also increasingly taking more deep shots down the field. He hit Andre Holmes for a 49-yard pass on a go route down the right sideline. Holmes beat his defender off the line to get a step and Carr tossed a tight spiral that hit Holmes in stride and allowed him to gallop into the end zone. The Raiders offense went conservative late with the big lead or Carr could have had an even bigger day. All four of his touchdown passes and most of his yards came in the game’s first 34 minutes.

RB Latavius Murray, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 113 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)
Murray had a relatively quiet 113 yards. He burst through a big hole off of right tackle for 26 yards on his first touch of the game and added a couple other big gains in the first half. Murray did not get many red zone opportunities, but that was simply due to the Raiders scoring three long passing touchdowns. On the one possession the Raiders did have a 1st-and-goal, Murray was in there. He received a carry on first down from the six-yard line and picked up a small gain before a Carr-to-Holmes touchdown pass on second down. Murray was very effective when the Raiders offense was aggressive early. But for the second straight week, he was not able to salt away the game on the ground in the fourth quarter. Some of that can be chalked up to facing the stingy Jets run defense. But Murray’s upright running style and the Raiders somewhat finesse run game are also to blame. Murray and the Raiders offense have looked great in getting off to quick starts and opening up big leads, but it will be interesting to see if they can come up with some better answers going forward about how they want to finish off wins in the fourth when playing from ahead.

RB Taiwan Jones, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 59 - 1 (1 targets)
Despite limited touches, Jones has been the Raiders most impressive back in recent weeks. He looks to be solidifying his hold on the 3rd down/change-of-pace back job behind Latavius Murray. The Raiders offense is extremely dangerous with Jones in the backfield. They are using his speed to attack the perimeter and have had a lot of success on a play-action fake to Jones out of the shotgun in which Carr has a decision on whether to give to Jones or pull it and quickly fire a pass down the seam. This play has been prevalent in recent years in college football and is gaining popularity in the NFL now as well. Jones had a highly impressive 11-yard run called back due to penalty. Jones made a highlight reel play for a 59-yard touchdown. He caught the ball six yards behind the line of scrimmage, broke the first tackle and then shimmied past the next defender, and broke one more tackle to get in the open field. Once he was free, nobody was catching the blazing-fast back. This play was all Jones as he turned what should have been a short gain at best into a long touchdown that really broke the game open. He has earned more opportunities and should see more snaps going forward; especially if the Raiders should find themselves playing from behind.

WR Michael Crabtree, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 102 - 1 (12 targets)
Crabtree is performing extremely well in his role as the #2 wide receiver in the Raiders offense. He is going to have many weeks like Week 8 where he leads the team in receiving due to Cooper drawing either an elite opposing corner or double teams. Crabtree took advantage of the extra targets and dominated his matchup against Antonio Cromartie. Crabtree has done a fine job with the ball in his hands. He combines an ability to make defenders miss with some real physicality and tackle-breaking ability. Crabtree was able to get in the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown early. He came wide open over the middle of the field on a post route and caught the ball at the 15-yard line. He then ran through three Jets defenders who could not get him to the ground for the score. Crabtree’s combination of size, route-running ability and run-after-the-catch skills are allowing the Raiders to get him the ball in a number of different ways: screens, deep passes, short slants, out routes, etc. He should continue to have success as the second target in what is developing into one of the league’s best offenses.

WR Amari Cooper, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 5 - 46 - 0 (9 targets)
Cooper looked great again despite a down week in terms of production. The Raiders were not afraid to target the rookie despite Darrelle Revis following him around all day. Cooper was able to pick up some key 3rd-and-short conversions to keep early touchdown drives going. His ability after the catch continues to impress. His running style is almost reminiscent of Le’Veon Bell; he is just so smooth and explosive in his movements and ability to change direction in the blink of the eye.

WR Andre Holmes, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 54 - 2 (3 targets)
Holmes had a breakout game with a pair of touchdowns. On the first score, he lined up out wide near the right sideline with single coverage. The Jets blitzed and Holmes ran a simple fade route toward the corner of the end zone that was covered terribly by the defensive back, allowing Holmes to gain plenty of separation and easily haul in the 5-yard touchdown reception. Later in the first half, Holmes again lined up wide along the right sideline against single coverage. He beat his man off the line and showed nice speed to stay on top of the defender on a go route. Carr put it right on the money allowing Holmes to catch it in stride and sprint into the end zone for the 49-yard touchdown reception. Holmes did have a bad 3rd-down drop midway through the fourth quarter that forced the Raiders to punt for the first time. Holmes size and speed provides the Raiders offense with another dangerous weapon and he has been blocking well also.

TE Clive Walford, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (3 targets)
Walford had a nice catch and run down the left sideline for an 11-yard gain. He shows a nice blend of speed and toughness running after catch.