After their Sept. 15 game against Kansas City, the Oakland Riders bid the Black Hole adieu. They spend the next six weeks on the road including an overseas visit across the Pond, broken up only with a week six bye. Nearly fifty days later on Nov. 3, they finally return home to play Detroit. But there's no rest for the weary as the Raiders are obliged to host the Chargers a mere four days later. That's one of the more punishing schedules I can recall, travel or otherwise. The Raiders then enter week eleven against the Bengals with an only somewhat surprising 5-4 record. All appears well; Derek Carr throws for 292 yards and a touchdown; the Raiders rush for 113 yards. Were it not for two turnovers perhaps Oakland defeats Cincinnati more decisively. But there's little time for dwelling over such minutia as the Raiders must board yet another cross-country flight to New York City.
Then Sunday happens ...
That schedule at some point was bound to catch up with Oakland, regardless of opponent. There's something to be said about the negative affects of flying insofar as dehydration, etc. The old plane routine is certainly an easy way to explain away Oakland's exceedingly poor play. But let's be honest, they looked lethargic, managing just 208 total yards and only ten first downs. The Jets meanwhile nearly double Oakland's offensive output with 401 total yards and 21 first downs en route to 31:30 minutes of possession. Simply put, I do not believe the Raiders are as bad, nor do I think the Jets are as good as the final score may suggest.
Sam Darnold appears fully recovered from his early season bout with mononucleosis, as he passes for 300+ yards for only the second time this season, and the first time since week two against the Cowboys. In fact Sam was 20/29 (69%) for 315 yards, with two TD's, no INT's, and a rushing touchdown to boot. He is sacked just once. But for everything that went right for the Jets, the running game still lags behind. Le'Veon Bell gains 49 yards on just 12 carries. Together with Bilal Powell they rush 17 times for 64 yards.