Virtually nothing went right for the Oakland Raiders in their loss to the New York Jets. They lost 34-3 and never seemed to get anything going on offense, defense or special teams. They did start the game with a field goal and led 3-0. However, the lead didn’t last long as the Jets quickly gained control of the game in the second quarter. The game didn’t get completely out of hand until the second half, but there was one questionable flag from the referees that really helped New York.
The call came when the Jets were driving in the first half. Maxx Crosby got a sack on Sam Darnold and Maurice Hurst came over and slightly touched the quarterback. For some reason, the referees decided it was roughing the passer. Instead of it being third and long for the Jets, they got a fresh set of downs and quickly scored a touchdown.
The call didn’t seem to make sense and Hurst questioned it.
“They said I hit him in the head,” said Hurst after the game, via Matt Kawahara. “But I didn’t even touch his head. So I don’t know.”
The defensive tackle also acknowledged that it was a big turning point in the game.
“It just seems that we keep getting those type of calls,” said Hurst and also noted that it changed the momentum of the game. “I just don’t see a need for calling it unless it’s blatant. It just seems like the calls are getting out of hand at this point.”
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Jon Gruden Doesn’t Make Excuses
It’s easy for a team to make excuses about bad calls if the game ends in a close score. It’s much more difficult to make those excuses if you lose by over 30 points. Yes, that roughing the passer call did shift the momentum in the game, but the Raiders weren’t playing particularly well before that. Head coach Jon Gruden acknowledged many of the mistakes after the game.
“We dropped passes,” Gruden said in the postgame press conference. “Hell, we dropped four center-quarterback exchanges in the second half. We missed tackles. We missed field goals. We missed the opportunity to show fans who came out today what kind of football team we are. I’m really disappointed in it. I take credit for all that went wrong.”
It was an all-around dreadful performance by the Raiders on all levels. It’s not the type of game you expect to see a 6-4 team put up against a 3-7 team. The Jets are better than their record, but they’re still not a great team and are hampered with injuries. If Oakland believes they are true contenders for the AFC West crown, they can’t have games like this. With all that said, Gruden brought up a good point after the game.
“We’re not the ’85 Bears, we’re a developing football team, we’re developing our roster, we’re making strides. Today was a setback…we know what we’re up against in Arrowhead; they’re coming off a bye week.”
It’s true, the Raiders are young and very inexperienced. They have a bright future ahead of them, but it’s probably still going to take some time for them to turn into true Super Bowl contenders.