OAKLAND (AP) — When Derek Carr looks back at the film from his NFL debut against the New York Jets nearly 14 months ago, it’s more for sentimental value than scouting.
With a new coaching staff led by Todd Bowles and an upgraded secondary keyed by Darrelle Revis, the Jets are a far different team than the one Carr encountered a year ago.
Carr is also a much different quarterback with 22 starts under his belt and new playmakers on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree that have helped make him one of the top up-and-coming quarterbacks in the league.
“It’s fun to look at. I’ve got to remember that one,” Carr said. “I threw my first touchdown there, so I can’t forget it, but it’s definitely not the same me. It’s not our same team. Nothing is similar, so you can’t really watch it.”
The Jets (4-2) will get to see the upgraded offense for the Raiders (3-3) when the two teams meet in Oakland on Sunday.
The Raiders scored on their first seven drives in last week’s win at San Diego and have their most potent offense in years, led by the young trio of Carr, Cooper and running back Latavius Murray.
It’s a far cry from a year ago when Bowles faced Carr as defensive coordinator for Arizona when the Cardinals came to Oakland and won.
“He’s a lot more poised this year than last year,” Bowles said. “He’s always had the arm talent. He could always run. He can make all the throws. I think he’s doing a heck of a job directing the offense right now.”
Here are some other things to watch when the Jets visit the Raiders:
NOWHERE TO RUN: New York has the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense, which is not good news for Latavius Murray and Oakland’s 23rd-ranked running offense. The Jets enter the game allowing a league-low 71.5 yards per game and 3.4 yards per rush. They have also given up just two rushing TDs this season.
But Oakland is nearly as stingy. The Raiders are ranked third overall against the run, giving up just 84.3 yards per game and 3.7 yards per rush. Oakland hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 10 straight games. New York’s Chris Ivory comes in with 501 yards rushing in five games, and ranks third in the NFL with 100.2 yards per game.
RAIDER KILLER: It would be no surprise if Raiders fans were sick of seeing Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has faced Oakland three previous times with three different teams and come out on the winning side each time. After leading last-minute comebacks for Buffalo and Tennessee, Fitzpatrick beat the Raiders easily last year with Houston. No quarterback has ever beaten the Raiders with four different organizations.
“I’ve been there the last few years,” he said. “I keep coming back in different uniforms. It’s one of those things.”
DRAFT DECISIONS: When the Raiders went on the clock during the draft at fourth overall, the speculation was they were choosing between Cooper and defensive lineman Leonard Williams. They went with Cooper and are ecstatic with the results. Even though Williams had expressed a desire to play with the Raiders, he’s happy to be a key contributor on the Jets’ stout line.
“I think it worked out pretty well that I came to the Jets,” Williams said. “I’m under a lot of great players to learn from Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, those guys have been able to take me under their wing and show me a lot of stuff.”
BLACK HOLE: Jets receiver Brandon Marshall is excited for his return trip to the notorious Black Hole at the Oakland Coliseum. Marshall made three trips to Oakland early in his career when he played in Denver.
“That’s my favorite stadium to play in,” he said. “Every time before the game, I’ll run to the Black Hole and I’ll just stare at them and mean mug them and they just throw stuff at you. It’s fun.”
CENTER OF CONCERN: The Jets could be without center Nick Mangold after he injured his neck last Sunday at New England. X-rays and other tests on Mangold’s neck were negative, but Bowles was uncertain as to whether he would be available at Oakland. If Mangold can’t go, Dakota Dozier or Wesley Johnson would fill in.
“We have them on the team, so the comfort level is there,” Bowles said of Dozier and Johnson. “Obviously, they’re not Mangold or they’d be in front of him. I’m confident these guys can go in and do their job and play.”