The Oakland Raiders were gracious hosts to the New York Jets. On the Raiders first play JaMarcus Russell fumbled the ball inside his own ten and the Jets took over at the four. The game was all downhill from there as the Raiders suffered their most lopsided home loss ever.
JaMarcus Russell was benched in favor of Bruce Gradkowski late in the second quarter to the great delight of the smallest Coliseum crowd since the return from LA in 1995. Gradkowski seemed to move the Raiders better than Russell, but he still could not find the end zone, even with a first and goal from the six.
After Russell’s fumble, the Raiders seemed to be moving the ball. Russell had connected with Darrius Heyward-Bey for a 24 yard connection, and they hadthe ball near midfield. However, Russell was under pressure and fired a ball off his back foot that was brought down by a Jets defender who didn’t have any Raiders around him. Once again, Russell drove the Raiders into Jets territory, this time the ball was intercepted in the end zone.
Cable made the decision to bench Russell after the second interception becuase he wanted to make that change. Cable said, “for the first time I thought he was really out of sorts early in the game. In the first play of the game he could not get the formation lined up the right way, and then they drop into quarters when it should just be a check down to the back, kinda holding it and looking down field and he shouldn’t be there. And then the two interceptions, first one, no reason for that and the second one really just kind of threw it up. So I just did not feel like at that point he gave us the best chance to have the success we needed to have offensively and made the move. JaMarcus will continue to be our starter and there is no issue there.”
Gradkowski went 10 for 19 for 97 yards and no touchdowns. He was, however, able to make a couple of plays with his feet and scrambling twice for 25 yards. Gradkowski felt that he added a spark, “My energy I bring to the game and the knowledge I bring to the game can add a spark. It was tough out there. We had a couple good drives we put together. We just have to finish on them.”
The Raiders didn’t fall back to their under 200 total yards rushing ways, but they didn’t beat that mark by much. They had 119 yards rushing and 144 yards passing for a total of 263. They could not convert any of those yards into points.
The Raiders defense was overmatched in the running game. The Jets were able to run for over 316 yards with Shonn Green getting 144 on 19 carries and Thomas Jones 121 yards on 26 carries. This was echoes of the presason where backs were demolishing the Raiders right and left.