Raiders-Jets matchups to watch

Raiders-Jets matchups to watch
September 24, 2011, 1:20 am
Share This Post

ALAMEDA -- While last week's matchup in Buffalo had all the makings of a classic trap game for the Raiders, this week's offers the same predicament for the New York Jets.Consider: the Jets played their first two at home and the last time they came to Oakland, which, by the way, is playing its home opener before a sold-out crowd, New York handed the Raiders their worst-ever home loss, 38-0, in 2009. Plus, the Jets will be without an integral part of their offensive line and just might be looking ahead to the next two weeks with East Coast holy wars at Baltimore and New England on the horizon.A look, then, at some key matchups to watch Sunday afternoon:Raiders defensive tackles Richard Seymour (92), Tommy Kelly (93) and John Henderson (79) vs. Jets center Colin Baxter (64)TALE OF THE TAPESeymour: 6-6, 310, Georgia, eleventh seasonKelly: 6-6, 300, Mississippi State, eighth seasonHenderson: 6-7, 335, Tennessee, tenth seasonBaxter: 6-3, 310, Arizona, first seasonNick Mangold is seen as the best center in the NFL. He is also out with a high ankle sprain. Enter Baxter, an undrafted rookie who was cut by San Diego in September and will be making his first career start.On the road. In the Black Hole. Against behemoths in Seymour, Kelly and, on occasion, Henderson.Surely, the Raiders interior defensive linemen must be licking their chops, right? Meh..."Nothing really, I don't change too much," Kelly said. "We have to really redeem ourselves from last week. Buffalo put up 200 (rushing yards) on us. We can't let that happen again. The Jets run the ball a lot on first and second down. They try to establish the tempo of the game. We've just got to knock their guys back and get early penetration so we can get them into third and long."Thing is, though, through both necessity (Baxter's inexperience) and film (watching Buffalo carve up the Raiders with quick, short passes), the Jets just might switch up their gameplan, making the matchup between Baxter and the Raiders defensive tackles a non-story.Not that the Raiders are anticipating that, either."They play well as a group," Seymour said of the Jets O-line. "So, it's not like they're depending so much on one guy. It's a group effort on the offensive line. They'll do different things -- I'm not saying, cover him up -- but they'll have different plays orit's not like the quarterback's not there, or something like that, a position like that where you're out in the open."It's in the trenches, so to the average fan, they probably won't even notice it."But the grunts down in the trenches most definitely will.Other matchups worth watching Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt (26) vs. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) -- Should the Raiders stuff the Jets run game, all eyes will shift to New York's signal caller. And for good reason. With visions of Sanchez chowing down on a hot dog the last time he was in Oakland, as a rookie in 2009, he might have to beat the Raiders himself. Which would play into the Oakland's gameplan, even as the Raiders were carved up by Ryan Fitzpatrick a week ago.And with the Jets boasting a three-headed receiving monster of Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason, not even Routt is sure who his assignment will be on Sunday. He'll just line up on the left side. And Sanchez could take a page from Fitzpatrick's book."This is a copycat league, so whatever you don't handle one week, you will see it until you can stop it," Routt said. "So I wouldn't be surprised."Raiders receiver Denarius Moore (17) vs. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) -- Revis Island is usually on one side of the field. But with Moore's breakout performance in Buffalo, catching five balls for 146 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, wouldn't it be just like the three-time Pro Bowler to shadow Moore to see what the rookie is all about and introduce him to the NFL?"I think he's a solid receiver," Revis said. "They have a lot of weapons on that team and there's been a lot of guys that's been hurt. (Louis) Murphy has been hurt. Jacoby (Ford) has been hurt. So, you know, (Moore) filled right in for those guys, filled some big shoes and he's out there making plays as well."