NFL prime time games continue to be underwhelming as a week 10 matchup between the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders only produced one touchdown the whole evening. 16-12 was the final scoreline in favor of a home Raiders squad who are now 2-0 with interim head coach Antonio Pierce after edging out a beaten down Zach Wilson and Jets offense. Wilson would end the game 23/39 for 263 yards and an interception to Robert Spillane with under two minutes left that would more or less ice the game for the Raiders. Wilson would get one more opportunity to try and win the game but a broken play would lead to the second year quarterback throwing up a prayer that would fall to the turf of Allegiant Field, leaving the Jets with a loss and a now 4-5 record. The Raiders continue to prove that Josh McDaniels was the catalyst to their poor start to the 2023 season as the Raiders have now won two straight games with their new coach and rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell who finished, 16/27 for 153 yards, a TD, and an interception. O’Connell continues to fill in for injured Jimmy Garoppolo and remains serviceable as Las Vegas now second in the AFC West at 5-5.
The New York Jets will have a long flight home wondering where head coach Robert Salah will turn next as Wilson continues to prove to be an unreliable option under center for a team with a top ten defense in the league. The Jets continue to have no identity in the run game as Breece Hall only carried the rock 13 times for 28 yards. The Jets played with a six point lead for the majority of the first half and could still not find a way to establish any sort of ground game to help alleviate Zach Wilson’s pressure to make throws. The Raiders pass rush was ruthless all evening sacking Wilson twice while also hitting him another five times. New York will continue to try to salvage a season that was derailed on their first drive of the season after Aaron Rodgers ruptured his achilles on Monday Night Football of week 1. I would be shocked to see Salah stick with Wilson after another pitiful loss but I am not sure the alternative in Trevor Siemian will be a better option. The Jets tough schedule continues in week 11 as they travel to a Buffalo Bills team who have had their own up and down season and would be keen on righting the ship in this home divisional game. Expect the Bills to win but potentially by a close margin due to the division rivalry aspect of this tilt.
Antonio Pierce will be lighting another round of cigars in the Raiders locker room after his second straight win and commitment to the “Raider Way” continues to be the saving grace for a Las Vegas ball club that could have easily counted their season as over two weeks ago. The Raiders interim head coach preached that star running back Josh Jacobs would be the focal point of their offense. Jacobs’s 27 carries for 116 yards affirmed this commitment to the 2022 rushing leader as Jacobs wore down the Jets defense all night through physical running up the middle. The Raiders continue to have a stingy pass rush led by edge rusher Maxx Crosby and stayed true to this identity all evening making Wilson go off schedule and extend plays, much to no avail. Las Vegas will continue to keep building rapport with their new head coach who will most likely be hired at the end of the season if the Raiders continue to win football games. Sitting at 5-5 the Raiders are second in their division but will have a hard time ending the season with a winning record as they still have to play Kansas City twice, the Dolphins, and the Chargers one more time before the end of the season. Antonio Pierce will be one of the stories of the season for what he has done in such a short time but do not be surprised to see the narrative shift once the Raiders are out of playoff contention come week 13. The Raiders travel to South Beach next week for a date with a Dolphins squad that is struggling to find a consistent winning formula at the moment.