The Oakland Raiders are looking to build on last week's 37-29 win at San Diego with a win over the New York Jets in Oakland in Week 8. The Jets enter the game with a 4-2 record, the second-best defense and the top defense against the run in the NFL.
As usual, here are five questions heading into the matchup that we'll look to answer after the game is in the books.
1. Can the Raiders win two in a row?
The Raiders have already proven they can do this by defeating Baltimore and Cleveland in succession. The task gets tougher, but the game is at home and the Jets have to fly clear across the country after a tough AFC East divisional loss to the New England Patriots. If the Raiders are going to make a run at a playoff spot, and the division if AFC West-leading Denver falters, they are going to have to start stacking wins together.
- Can Amari Cooper take over Revis Island?
New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is one of the best in the business and he typically shadows the opponent's top receiver. Cooper, the Week 7 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week, has caught 33 passes for 519 yards and 3 TDs so far this season. Revis is tied for 2nd in the NFL with 3 interceptions and has recovered 3 fumbles this season.
- Can the Raiders run the ball?
Raiders running back Latavius Murray bounced back last week with 15 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown, and the Raiders rushed for 130 yards as a team against San Diego. The Jets are only allowing 71.5 yards per game on the ground. The Patriots only ran the ball 9 times on the Jets last week, and 4 of those were Tom Brady scrambles.
- Can the Raiders stop the run?
The Raiders rush defense has gotten progressively better as the season has worn on, and is now 3rd in the NFL, allowing just 84.3 yards per game. The Jets are 3rd in the NFL, averaging 136.5 yards per game on the ground. Running back Chris Ivory is a physical downhill runner. The Raiders got defensive linemen Denico Autry and Justin Ellis back this week, and Mario Edwards Jr has become a factor with Justin Tuck lost for the season due to injury.
- Can the Raiders keep Derek Carr clean?
If the Raiders are unable to run the ball, or fall behind, and have to go to a pass-heavy attack, protecting the quarterback is going to be even more important. The offensive line bounced back last week allowing just one sack after giving up four to the Broncos in Week 5. The Jets are 4th in the league in pass defense, allowing 211.7 yards per game. They have 11 sacks on the season, and six different players have accounted for them.