Whether it was Darren McFadden sprinting around the corner, a couple of trick plays or pure will, the Oakland Raiders overpowered the Jets like no other team has since coach Rex Ryan brought his brash style to New York two years ago.
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McFadden ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and the Raiders added two more touchdowns on the ground as part of the most productive rushing day against the Jets since Ryan took over as the Raiders won 34-24 Sunday.
”Coach Hue (Jackson) always tells us we’re building a bully,” McFadden said. ”It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. That’s what we’re trying to do, to bully them. That’s what we did today.”
Denarius Moore scored on a 23-yard reverse and Michael Bush added a 1-yard TD run 42 seconds later as the Raiders (2-1) took control in a dizzying span beginning late in the third quarter to hand the Jets (2-1) their first loss.
Mark Sanchez had a much rougher second trip to Oakland in his career, getting bloodied on one of Oakland’s four second-half sacks and needing a visor to protect a cut on his face. He also said after the game that he would have an X-ray to check to see if his nose was broken.
It was a far different end than his game here two years ago, when he memorably was eating a hot dog on the sideline in the closing minutes of a 38-0 victory that was the most lopsided home loss in Raiders history.
Sanchez completed 27 of 43 passes for a career-high 369 yards, but threw a costly interception in the end zone in the first half. He later cut Oakland’s lead to 31-24 with a 16-yard pass to Plaxico Burress with 5:33 remaining. He also ran for one touchdown and had a second overturned by replay in the final minute, ending New York’s last gasp.
”I just feel like they’re a revamped Raiders group,” Sanchez said. ”We had momentum on our side, we let them hang around at halftime then they came and knocked us around a little in the third quarter.”
A week after blowing a game defensively in the second half in Buffalo, the Raiders finished against New York. Campbell scrambled 10 yards and found Bush for a 28-yard gain after buying time with his feet to set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 49-yard field goal with 2:32 left to ice it.
Campbell was 18 for 27 for 156 yards, but the Raiders won this game on the ground, putting up the most yards rushing (234), most rushing touchdowns and the third-most points in a game against the Ryan-led Jets.
”It was humiliating for us to have something like that happen to us,” Jets defensive lineman Sione Pouha said. ”All we can do is make the corrections that we need to do and bounce back.”
After Chimdi Chekwa broke up a fourth-down pass to Burress, Oakland used some trickery to go 63 yards in four plays to take a 24-17 lead in the final minute of the third quarter. The first deception came on a halfback option to McFadden. He wanted to throw back to Campbell, but that was covered so he ran 27 yards instead, faking a pass about 8 yards down the field.
On the next play, Moore took a reverse that the Jets appeared to have stopped. But Moore cut upfield to elude David Harris and Samson Satele flattened Jim Leonhard with a block, springing Moore for the touchdown that made it 24-17.
”Let your players make plays,” Jackson said of his philosophy. ”That’s what I’m trying to create here. I’m going to create an environment where our great players can do something special.”
After Jackson urged on the rare sellout crowd on the ensuing kickoff, Antonio Cromartie mishandled the short kick and Taiwan Jones recovered the fumble at the 13. Bush scored from 1 yard out two plays later to make it 31-17 one play into the fourth quarter.
”They’re a physical football team and I felt like that played right into our hands,” Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. ”Because we’re pretty physical up front on the offensive and defensive lines. Anytime a team wants to come in and play that type of game with us, I like our chances all the time.”
The Raiders showed no hangover from last week’s second-half collapse against Buffalo. They took just five plays to drive 76 yards for the opening score against the Jets, with tight end Kevin Boss making a 28-yard catch in his Oakland debut to set up McFadden’s 2-yard run.
The Jets responded with the next 17 points as Sanchez took advantage of a secondary missing injured starting cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and safety Michael Huff (concussion) and Tomlinson once again bewildered the Raiders.
Tomlinson broke a tackle from Rolando McClain and took a short pass 74 yards down to the 1 to set up Sanchez’s 1-yard TD run. Tomlinson later caught an 18-yard TD pass for his 160th career touchdown, including 26 against the Raiders.
McFadden got the Raiders back into it when he bolted around left end for a 70-yard run that was the longest against them since 1998.
”You’ve got to set edges on this guy,” Ryan said. ”We never did that. We know he’s got great speed. That’s why the ball has to be turned inside. It wasn’t turned inside and he made the 70-yard run.”
Campbell completed six short passes in a 2-minute drill to set up a 54-yard field goal by Janikowski on the final play of the half to tie it at 17.
Notes: Cromartie left with a rib injury and was undergoing X-rays. He committed four penalties to go with his fumble. … The previous high for a game against Ryan’s Jets was 153 yards by New Orleans in 2009. … Raiders FB Marcel Reece left in the first quarter with an ankle injury.