There are no gimmes in the NFL.
But Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, will you do Raider Nation a huge favor in your team’s home opener this Sunday, will ya? Make the win look easy.
As Dwayne Johnson once said, a resounding “boots-to-asses” victory in front of a rambunctious crowd at O.co Coliseum against the visiting New York Jets is ideal for the Oakland Raiders. Turn on the afterburners, Captain Jack. Torch the Jets, I mean scorched Earth status, Coach. As the kids say these days, that would be “lit”.
Sunday’s tilt is an opportune time for the Raiders to deliver a message: The quest for a Lombardi Trophy is legit and they’ll plunder and pillage those that stand in their way.
Great teams spank those that aren’t on the same level. And while the Jets aren’t going to be a cakewalk by any means, they aren’t in the Silver and Black tier.
Against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets managed 214 total yards (176 through the air, 38 on the ground) while yielding 408 yards (218 passing, 190 rushing). Gang Green went 4-for-14 on third downs and quarterback Josh McCown threw two interceptions to finish 26 of 39 for 187 yards.
In comparison, at Tennessee, the Raiders churned out 359 yards (250 passing, 109 rushing) and Derek Carr threw two TDs.
Oakland mauling guard Kelechi Osemele abused Titans linemen. Rookie defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes tossed Pro Bowl tackle Jack Conklin away like garbage. And running back Marshawn Lynch activated Beast Mode when he took Jurrell Casey’s soul on a punishing run.
Captain Jack’s merry band of marauders bullied the Titans. The offense was explosive and the oft-criticized defense stiffened and played angrily and with urgency.
Which brings us back to the task at hand: Stomping New York.
The Raiders are ascending to the NFL elite, while the Jets are still trying to get in the elevator that resides in the basement.
New York is in cellar-dweller mode, one that Raider Nation is all too familiar with. Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan is putting forth a demolition and rebuilding effort, the likes Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie is all too familiar with.
Remember those days? How many times was Oakland on the receiving end of some one-sided shellackings? Those teams got their butts whooped.
Payback time. And it’s a dish best served cold.
Do as Lynch will Captain Jack, #RunThroughAMFF this Sunday.