EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Raiders hopped on a plane bound for the Big Apple this weekend.
They never showed up.
The Silver and Black were there in body but not much else in a 34-3 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. They got worked in every phase of a game that was never, ever close.
The Jets (4-7) jumped to an early lead and steadily expanded it with a second-half barrage that sealed the Raiders' worst loss of the season by far. Yes, even worse than the Week 3 disaster in Minnesota.
The Raiders were rare road favorites heading into this game, riding high on a three-game winning streak, and they came crashing down in disastrous performance in which they were outplayed and outcoached.
Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s embarrassing loss:
Playoff hopes take a hit
The Silver and Black cruised through a perfect three-game homestand, and looked to enter next week’s game in Kansas City tied with the Chiefs atop the AFC West. That won’t happen after this mess, which pushed the Raiders to 6-5 and one game back in the division.
The loss also hurts the Raiders' AFC wild-card standing. A win would’ve solidified their place in both races, with a real chance to surge ahead with a win in KC. Now if the season ended at this moment, the Steelers, not the Raiders, would own the final wild-card spot.
Next week’s game still has massive import, but there’s a real onus to beat the Chiefs on the road and in the cold, with Kansas City fresh off a bye.
No trap, just bad football
It’s easy to call this a trap game. The Raiders were road favorites against a team that hadn’t won much. They had to fly across the country to play a 10 a.m. PT kickoff, with a massive game on the immediate horizon.
That creates an impression the Raiders could overlook this game and this Jets team. That wasn’t why the Raiders lost. They vowed to stay focused all week, honestly believing they didn’t have the cache to overlook anyone. That was rooted in their preparation. Even if that wasn’t true, some early Jets scores would’ve provided a wake-up call. They slept through the whole game.
This was a beat-down, plain and simple. Don’t call it anything else. Nobody in silver and black played well. No coach wearing the Raiders shield had a great day. The Raiders got thumped. They were the inferior team on this day.
This outcome has happened once before, during that 34-14 thrashing in Minnesota. The Raiders rebounded well from that loss, with back-to-back wins over the Colts and the Bears.
The Silver and Black must bounce back fast and avoid one bad game turning the season on its ear.
Pass defense picked apart
The Jets have offensive talent, especially at the skill positions, but they had struggled to move the ball this season. They entered Sunday ranked dead last in total offense and 29th in scoring, but they looked like a juggernaut while picking apart the Raiders' defense.
Jets QB Sam Darnold couldn’t miss, routinely finding receivers open laterally or on slants and crosses over the middle. Veteran running back Le’Veon Bell was efficient with a heavy workload, a rarity during his first season in New York.
The Jets threw for 315 yards and averaged 10.4 per attempt. That’s, you know, not a great showing for a Raiders defense that had been better in recent weeks. They were torched in the passing game, with the Jets punting for the first time late in the third quarter.
This outcome could be a gut check, or a blueprint for how to exploit the Raiders' defense in its current state. Time will tell, especially against teams with speed. The Chiefs, next week’s opponent, can win some track meets.