Jets head west to face Raiders

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS - By Josh Dubow

OAK­LAND » Derek Carr got a taste in the pre­sea­son of what the at­mos­phere will be like in the Oak­land Coli­seum when Mar­shawn Lynch car­ries the ball for the first time in a game that counts in front of his home­town fans.

He can only imag­ine what it will be like on Sun­day the first time Beast Mode car­ries the ball or scores a touch­down for the Raiders (1- 0) in their home opener against the New York Jets (0-1).

“Loud. Hope­fully we’ll be able to be ex­cited and then get quiet again real quick for the of­fense,” Carr said. “I love our fans and I’m happy that they have some­one that’s home­grown that gets to play in front of them.”

Lynch came out of re­tire­ment this off­sea­son for the op­por­tu­nity to play for the Raiders be­fore the team moves to Las Ve­gas in 2020. Oak­land ac­quired him in a deal from Seat­tle, but didn’t quite know what to ex­pect on the field from Lynch after he strug­gled in an in­jury-plagued 2015 sea­son and then sat out last year en­tirely.

Based on the first game of the sea­son when Lynch had 18 car­ries for 76 yards , caught a 16-yard pass and bowled over Pro Bowl 305-pound de­fen­sive tackle Jur­rell Casey , he looks like his old self once again.

“I don’t know too many people who can do that,” Raiders run­ning back Jalen Richard said. “For him to do that is crazy. It lets you know how strong he is and his grit. It shows he’s still Mar­shawn and well rested. Well rested.”

That’s ex­actly what Jets coach Todd Bowles doesn’t want to see after his de­fense gave up 190 yards in the opener against Buf­falo. Bowles is very fa­mil­iar with Lynch, hav­ing served as a de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor in Ari­zona dur­ing Beast Mode’s hey­day in Seat­tle, and sees sim­i­lar qual­i­ties now that Lynch is with the Raiders.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the same things I saw in Ari­zona: him run­ning well, him run­ning hard, great feet, good vi­sion,” Bowles said. “Like he never left.”

Here are some other things to watch:

LEAKY LINE: The Jets’ de­fen­sive line is ex­pected to be a strength this sea­son. It got off to a rough start last week against Le­Sean McCoy and Buf­falo . The poor per­for­mance prompted Bowles to chal­lenge his D-line to play up to its high cri­te­ria against Oak­land. That in­cludes Muham­mad Wilk­er­son, Leonard Wil­liams and Steve McLen­don, all of whom were mostly quiet against the Bills.

“We didn’t play up to our stan­dards last week, but that’s be­hind us,” Wilk­er­son said. “We’re not go­ing to dwell on that.”

MACK AT­TACK: Reign­ing De­fen­sive Player of the Year Khalil Mack made a big im­pact in the opener even though he only had three tack­les and no sacks. He bat­ted down one pass, made two tack­les be­hind the line and had four QB pres­sures de­spite fac­ing dou­ble and triple teams all game.

“Three wasn’t enough. Maybe we’ll try five or six,” Bowles said. “He’s a tough player. He’s All-Pro for a rea­son. We know how good he is. We just have to try to slow him down a lit­tle bit, enough to try and make some plays.”

NOWHERE TO RUN: New York couldn’t get its run game into gear against the Bills, putting a strain on the en­tire of­fense. Matt Forte gained 16 yards on six at­tempts, while Bi­lal Pow­ell man­aged 22 yards on seven car­ries.

“They packed the box some,” Bowles said of the Bills. “They made a few good plays. They were com­ing off and pack­ing it pretty good, mak­ing us come off of dou­ble-teams pretty quickly. ... We just have to find a way to open it up and keep plug­ging at it.”

SAFETY DANCE: One bright spot in the sea­son opener for the Jets was the play of their rookie safeties Ja­mal Adams and Mar­cus Maye. Adams, a firstrounder, had five tack­les and a pass de­fensed. Maye, a sec­ond-rounder, had seven tack­les. They were the first pair of rookie safeties to start in Week 1 in Jets his­tory. Ac­cord­ing to the team, they were also the first rookie duo at the po­si­tion in the start­ing lineup for any team since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

GIOR­GIO’S DAY: Raiders kicker Gior­gio Tavec­chio took six years to make it into an NFL game. He made the most of his op­por­tu­nity in place of the in­jured Se­bas­tian Janikowski. He kicked four field goals, in­clud­ing two from 52 yards to be­come the first player in NFL his­tory with at least two 50yard field goals in his de­but. That earned him an award as the AFC’s top spe­cial teams player last week.

SARAH WARNOCK — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Raiders quar­ter­back Derek Carr (4) throws dur­ing warm ups be­fore a pre­sea­son game.

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