Raiders edge Jets in Penalty-Filled Game

The Raiders beat the Jets 34-24 in a game that featured some undisciplined, penalty-filled football.  Each team saw seven yellow flags thrown in their direction over the course of the game, amounting over one hundred penalty yards between the two.

Jets’ cornerback Antonio Cromartie will have to take a lot of blame, as he gets credit for four of those seven penalties.  His fumble on a kickoff in third quarter cost the Jets seven points as well, as this was quite possibly the worst game of his entire Pro Bowl career.

The Jets’ offensive line must take some credit for the loss as well, as they failed to keep Sanchez on his feet for most of the second half.  Three of the Raiders’ four sacks came in the third quarter, and Sanchez suffered a cut to his face as a result of one of the hits that forced him to wear a protective guard.

Raiders running back Darren McFadden was without a doubt the most valuable player of the matchup, gaining 171 yards on 19 carries, good for a 9.0 yards per carry average, and two touchdowns.  His 70-yard touchdown run in the second quarter cut the Jets lead to 17-14 and was the start of 24 unanswered Raiders points.

Sebastian Janikowski hit a 54-yard field goal at the end of the first half to tie up the game at 17 apiece.  Denarius Moore gave the Raiders the lead towards the end of the third quarter on a 23-yard run.  Moore also caught four passes for 34 yards in the game and was Jason Campbell’s most frequent target.

Cromartie’s fumble came on the ensuing kickoff and gave the Raiders great field position.  Darren McFadden ran the ball to the 2-yard line, setting up a Michael Bush TD run that gave the Raiders a 31-17 lead.

LaDainian Tomlinson did everything he could to keep the Jets in the game, bringing in a 74-yard reception that led to a Mark Sanchez touchdown run in the first quarter and catching one of his own on the next drive.  Tomlinson ran the ball six times for 38 yards and had a team-leading 116 yards on five receptions.

Tomlinson’s counterpart in the backfield, Shonn Greene, saw some success running the ball, but the Jets were once again unable to establish the running game, forced to pass as they tried to make a fourth quarter comeback.

They almost did, as Mark Sanchez connected on a 16-yard pass with Burress in the left side of endzone with 5:33 remaining in the game to cut the lead to 31-24. Three minutes later Sebastian Janikowski put a 49-yard field goal between the posts to once again put the Raider up two scores.

A great kickoff return by Joe McKnight put the Jets in great field position, and they drove to the goal line, eventually facing a 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Sanchez was forced to scramble and fell on the line for a touchdown.

The play was reversed on an official review and all it took was one run and one kneel for the Raiders to put an end to the comeback.  It was too little, too late for a Jets’ offense that struggled immensely in the second half.

Noteworthy Statistics:

Jets’ rookie punt returner Jeremy Kerley totaled 80 yards on four returns today, his longest being a 53-yard return.

As if there was any doubt that he was one of the best punters ever, Shane Lechler averaged 56.5 yards per punt on six attempts today, his longest being a 67-yard punt.

Darren McFadden is the fourth running back to total 100 or more yards against Rex Ryan’s New York Jets defense.  The Raider’s 234 yards on the ground were the most ever against Ryan’s defense.

And the most noteworthy statistic of all… following today’s losses by the Jets and Patriots, the Buffalo Bills are now in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

Thoughts on the game? Tell us… @Zach_PPI and @PlayerInsiders

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