The Jets Saw the Team They Want to Be on Sunday

Jets got beaten up all over the field by the Raiders

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Sep 26, 2011  |  Updated 1:20 PM EDT
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Even Rex Ryan couldn't talk his wya out of this one.

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There have been some bad losses in the Rex Ryan era.

We've seen the team give up two kickoff returns to Ted Ginn, we've seen Mark Sanchez throw six interceptions, we've seen Maurice Jones-Drew take a knee on the one and we've seen the horrifying 45-3 rout in New England last season.

But we've never seen anything like what we saw in Oakland on Sunday.

The 34-24 Raiders victory was the first time that a Rex Ryan team got totally and completely manhandled on both sides of the ball. The Raiders dominated both lines of scrimmage and their aggressiveness wore down the visitors until they finally collapsed in the second half.

And when the Jets collapsed, they did it in every single phase of the game. The offense couldn't stand up to the pass rush, the defense couldn't do anything to slow down the Oakland running game and Antonio Cromartie fumbled away a kickoff return to give the Raiders an easy touchdown.

The whole thing left the Jets shellshocked when all was said and done. Ryan's usual post-loss press conferences are full of puffery meant to make it seem like the Jets were the better team that would win 99 out of 100 times in meetings between the two teams.

It is rarely believeable, but Ryan tries to sell it all the same. He didn't even bother trying that on Sunday evening, because there wasn't a way he could get such bald-faced lies out of his mouth.

The Jets looked like little boys on that field Sunday. They were bullied and manhandled by a team that didn't mind picking up a penalty for kicking you in the guts so long as that kick to the guts meant that you were going to fold the next time the Raiders came calling.

That has to be humiliating for a guy who always talks about wanting his own teams to play with that same kind of vicious spirit, which explains why he was quiet as a churchmouse when all was said and done on Sunday.

The Raiders did everything that the Jets talk about being part of their identity -- most notably, rushing the passer and controlling the game by running the ball -- but the Jets haven't actually made that their identity this season.

Their actual identity is that of a defense that has played well only when put up against a quarterback who was benched for a rookie and an offense that lives and dies with Mark Sanchez because they aren't tough enough to get the job done on the ground.

The Raiders showed how flawed an approach that is and the Jets have some serious work to do if they want to get back to being the team they claimed to be entering the season.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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