The Oakland Raiders got their season off to a good start and hope to avoid a letdown when they play their home opener against the New York Jets on Sunday. Oakland, which had its 2016 campaign end on a sour note due to Derek Carr’s broken leg, began 2017 with a 26-16 triumph at Tennessee and comes into its second game as a heavy favorite against a weak Jets squad.
“Our motto is to basically respect every opponent but fear nobody,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio told reporters. “I got asked by the New York media a little bit about their team and the (point) spread. Those things mean nothing to us. It’s about playing the game.” Marshawn Lynch ran for 76 yards against the Titans in his first game following a one-year retirement and could have a field day versus New York, which allowed Buffalo to record 190 rushing yards in its 21-12 season-opening loss. Having the Jets concentrate on Lynch could open things up for Carr, who threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee without an interception. New York’s running game was stagnant last week as the team gained only 38 yards on 15 carries versus the Bills, with five-time 1,000-yard rusher Matt Forte - who also fell three yards shy of 1,000 in 2011 - recording 16 on six rushes.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Raiders -13.5. O/U: 43.5
ABOUT THE JETS (0-1): The special teams provided the best performance in the season opener as kicker Chandler Catanzaro converted a pair of long field goals and had three kickoffs go for touchbacks while Lachlan Edwards averaged 43.7 yards on six punts. Former Raider Josh McCown completed 26-of-39 passes for 187 yards and ran for the Jets’ lone touchdown versus the Bills while Jermaine Kearse had seven receptions for 59 yards in his debut with the club. Rookie safeties Marcus Maye (seven) and Jamal Adams combined for 12 tackles in their first NFL game.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (1-0): Sebastian Janikowski has been one of the best kickers in the NFL since he entered the league in 2000, and Oakland just may have found a suitable replacement in the wake of the 39-year-old being placed on injured reserve with a back injury. Giorgio Tavecchio, who was 9-for-11 on field-goal attempts during the preseason, converted all four of his attempts against Tennessee - including a pair from 52 yards out, which made him the first player in history to make two kicks of at least 50 yards in his NFL debut and earned him the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor. Carr completed 22 passes to eight different receivers in the season opener, with Michael Crabtree making a team-high six catches for 83 yards.
1. Carr led the Raiders to a 34-20 victory in their last meeting with the Jets in 2015, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns.
2. New York waived DL Claude Pelon, who recorded two tackles against Buffalo last week in his NFL debut.
3. Oakland CB Sean Smith missed Thursday’s practice with a neck injury.
PREDICTION: Raiders 33, Jets 13