TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: MetLife Stadium
Weather: High 37, Low 33
Line: New York (-2.5)
Not many people gave the Oakland Raiders a shot at winning anything this season, but the boys in silver and black have proved the doubters wrong, winning four games. However, they have struggled recently and a change of quarterbacks seems more permanent than it originally did as Terrelle Pryor has been replaced by rookie Matt McGloin. While Pryor did rush for over 500 yards before being replaced by McGloin, he did pass for just five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. McGloin has passed for 799 yards and four touchdowns with just two interceptions in four games. Rod Streater has emerged as the favorite target in the receiving corps, catching a team-high 43 passes for 657 yards and two touchdowns. Rashad Jennings has replaced Darren McFadden as the team’s No. 1 running back, rushing for 588 yards and four scores.
While the New York Jets started the season off strong behind rookie quarterback Geno Smith, the young gunslinger and the team as a whole have come back down to earth. It has been a rough month, or so, for Smith as he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since mid-October and has been benched in the process during games. Rex Ryan says that the rookie QB is still the starter until otherwise noted, but Smith’s 2,256 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 19 interceptions are just not going to cut it in this league. The passing game ranks last in the league behind Smith and no single wide receiver has stood out as the best — the corps of receivers seem to be mediocre at best. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell combine to account for the 10th-best rushing attack in the league as Ivory has 563 yards and two touchdowns and Powell has 516 yards and one score.
Defensively, the Raiders have been mediocre in nearly every major category — except run defense. Oakland ranks 10th in rushing yards allowed but also ranks 21st in points allowed, 19th in total yards allowed and 24th in passing yards allowed per game. The Jets have been just a tad better on defense, ranking 12th in total yards allowed and first in rushing yards allowed. However, New York ranks 25th in points allowed and it has had a tough time stopping the pass.
PREDICTION: Raiders 21, Jets 24
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.