The Continuation of the Devontae Booker redemption story
Jon Gruden publicly announced Friday afternoon that star running back Josh Jacobs would miss Sunday's game. Jacobs is suffering from an ankle injury that he sustained in the fourth quarter of the loss against the Falcons last Sunday.
Despite him being ruled out, the Raiders have another similar back behind him in Devontae Booker who has proven he can pick up the weight. Booker is in the midst of a resurgent season with the Raiders after seeing minimal snaps in his last two seasons with the Denver Broncos. Behind Jacobs, Booker has ran for 326 yards and three touchdowns with a whooping 5.5 yards per carry this season.
The Raiders will have a lot in store against a solid Jets run defense, however Booker has a speed, quickness, and toughness to get the job in Jacobs absence. Don't be surprised if he has a career game in MetLife Stadium this Sunday.
Ferrell, Joyner set to suit up
Another big hit to the Raiders going into this Sunday was Coach Gruden announcing that starting safety Johnathan Abram (knee) will also not be in action this action. Despite him being ruled out, the Raiders will be getting back two players that can help fill the void of alpha dog Abram.
2019 first-round pick Clelin Ferrell will be returning to play after missing two games battling COVID-19. Safety Lamarcus Joyner was also added back to the active roster Friday after being on COVID-19 Reserve as well.
Ferrell's presence on the defensive line will be huge to containing Sam Darnold and Frank Gore for the Jets. Joyner's veteran leadership and playmaking ability will also be welcomed back in the place of Abram. Jeff Heath should be another player that should see increased snaps in place of Abram as he leads the team in interceptions (3) this season.
Revenge on Sam Darnold
The Raiders couldn't stop Sam Darnold last year.
The Silver and Black could have a tough task in going up against former USC Trojans standout Sam Darnold. In the Jets 34-3 victory over the Raiders last November, Darnold had one of his best games of his NFL career throwing for 315 yards, two touchdowns at nearly a 69 completion percentage. Coach Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther still remembers what Darnold and his offense did to the Raiders in last year's game.
"Well, we saw Darnold last year, we know what he's capable of," said Jon Gruden. "He's a powerful guy. We saw him against Denver scramble for a 50-yard touchdown. He's a great competitor; he's been hurt. You got to prepare for a lot, they got a high-volume offense. They do a lot of different things."
"He's a talented guy, he can run around the pocket," said Paul Guenther. "He's a bigger guy to get on the ground, he can make all the throws.
Jets' stout run defense
In a year of negatives for the winless New York Jets, their run defense has been their saving grace.
The young defense lead by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has shown sparks of excellence this year against their competitors. They are currently ranked 11th in the league in rushing yards allowed this season. The Jets success in stopping the run can be greatly attributed to their 2019 first-round draft pick out of Alabama Quinnen Williams. The Birmingham, Ala., native has been having a Pro Bowl caliber season for the Jets with 41 tackles, 11 of those tackles for loss and five sacks in the seven games he's played this season.
"You usually don't see big guys move the way he does," said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. "And you saw that in college, obviously he was a dominant player in college. Again, you just don't see athletes of that size move the way he moves. We'll have our hands full with him."
Running away from father time
The Silver and Black must pay very close attention to man in the Jets backfield as well. He is the third-leading rusher in NFL history after all.
Frank Gore in his 15th season in the NFL is still playing at a high level and getting things done on the ground for the Jets. Gore is the team's leading rusher and averaging 5.4 yards a carry at 37 years old.
"Incredible athlete, incredible running back," said Greg Olson. "Time does not seem to affect him at a position where normally you see it affect running backs at an early age. Certainly, a credit to him as a player and how well he has trained his body and taken care of his body over the years."
"Fresh legs, he runs hard, he runs behind his pads, he's good in protection," said Paul Guenther. "He's a great locker room guy. We'll have our eye out for him on Sunday."
Cold day up North
The Raiders may see some more surprising weather this weekend in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The weather is expected to be in the 30's around gametime with winds close to 20 miles per hour. Rain showers are expected to come all day Saturday, which may affect the conditions of the turf field at MetLife Stadium as well.
Despite the weather inclements or field conditions may arise during the course of action, the Raiders proved earlier this year in their epic battle in Cleveland that it won't keep them down.
Head down to the tarmac and view exclusive photos of the Raiders as they depart for their Week 13 matchup against the New York Jets.