NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 7:20 PM
What we learned: Ryan Fitzpatrick might be a journeyman on his sixth team in 11 years, but he’s invaluable to Todd Bowles’ team. Fitzpatrick hurt his left hand/thumb on a scramble six plays into the game. The veteran quarterback had found success with his feet through the first six games, but this run proved costly.
Fitzpatrick talked to team doctors and trainers on the sidelines a few times, but didn’t get an X-ray in the first half. Todd Bowles told CBS at halftime that Fitzpatrick has a “ligament issue.”
Fitzpatrick actually returned for two plays after Geno Smith was drilled with one minute left.
Game ball: Don’t look now, but the Raiders have a foundation quarterback in Derek Carr, who carved up the Jets’ touted defense for four touchdowns. Carr lit up the Jets for three first-half touchdown passes on the Raiders’ first three drives to set the tone for the rest of the day.
What this means: Geno Smith will get yet another chance to prove that he can be the starter for a franchise that has given him ample opportunity to show that he can be relied on. Smith, of course, was in line to be the Week 1 starter before the Punch Heard ‘Round the NFL courtesy of IK Enemkpali shelved the third-year signal caller in August and cost him his job.
Smith, who hasn’t played since the season finale in Miami last year, clearly wasn’t on the same page with top weapon Brandon Marshall in the first half. Smith threw a second-quarter interception looking for Marshall, who was blanketed downfield.
Good sign: Smith looked more comfortable after intermission en route to a pair of second-half touchdowns. However, he made some terrible choices in the last five minutes (see: taking a sack with just over two minutes to go) that made you shake your head.
Smith left for two plays late in the game after getting drilled in the chest by Ray-Ray Armstrong.
Bad Sign: Bowles’ second-ranked defense was horrific. The Jets gave up three touchdowns and 232 yards on the Raiders’ first three drives to dig an insurmountable hole. The Jets gave up 252 total yards in the first half. 252!
Oakland’s first-half scoring drives of 78, 78 and 76 yards were sprinkled with Jets penalties, sloppy coverage and terrible tackling. Antonio Cromartie was beaten on two of David Carr’s three touchdown passes before intermission.
Michael Crabtree’s 36-yard catch and run for a score in the second quarter was a snapshot of the Jets’ defensive struggles. He was wide open thanks to poor coverage by Cromartie before breaking three tackles on his way to the end zone. Buster Skrine was beaten on the first touchdown.
It got worse on the Raiders first drive of the second half when Taiwan Jones embarrassed Demario Davis, Marcus Williams and Marcus Gilchrist on a 59-yard catch & run for a touchdown.
The Jets’ top-ranked run defense, which had allowed 72 yards per game, was also terrible. Latavius Murray became the second running back this season to top the 100-yard plateau against Gang Green.
Bowles’ defense didn’t force a punt until 7:44 left in the fourth quarter.
Bad Sign II: Brandon Marshall left with six minutes left in the game after suffering a left knee injury. The Jets’ top receiver was injured after an incompletion. He walked off slowly after doctors examined his left knee and didn’t appear to be getting any additional medical attention on the sideline.
Next week: The lowly Jaguars (2-5) roll into town two weeks after beating Rex Ryan’s Bills in London. Former Jets general manager John Idzik, who was fired after two forgettable seasons that included airplane banners from disgruntled fans, resurfaced as the special assistant to the general manager (whatever that means) in Jacksonville. He would love nothing more than to literally give the middle finger to his former employer. (He might do that win or lose.)
Idzik isn’t the only one on the Jags’ pay roll who isn’t exactly enamored with the Jets these days. Offensive line coach Doug Marrone, who opted out of his deal as the Bills head coach after last season in a controversial move, interviewed for the Jets’ opening before Woody Johnson wisely decided to go in another direction. Who knows? Maybe the Jaguars’ players will carry Marrone off the field if Jacksonville pulls off the upset.
On the field, the Jags appeared overmatched before the Jets laid an egg in Oakland. Quarterback Blake Bortles against the Jets defense still looks like an unfair fight, but nothing is a lock after the Jets’ embarrassing performance on Sunday.