by Tom LaMarre
After three straight victories at home, the Oakland Raiders tripped all over themselves on the road.
The Raiders made young quarterback Sam Darnold look a bit like Joe Namath and the New York Jets got the drop on the Silver and Black, 34-3, on Sunday in cold and rainy weather at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Now the Jets have won three consecutive games, scoring 34 points in each of the, and it was easily the Raiders’ worst and most embarrassing performance of the season.
“It was like being on a sinking ship, a helpless feeling,” Raiders Coach Jon Gruden said. “It’s adversity, it’s football. The weather was poor, and I’m not using it as an excuse because it was poor for them, too.
“We dropped passes. Hell, we dropped four center-quarterback exchanges in the second half. We missed tackles. We missed field goals. We missed the opportunity to show fans who came out today what kind of football team we are. I’m really disappointed in it.
“We were driving and dropped a big pass that would have been a first down. That’s not the type of team we are.
“I take responsibility for all that went wrong.”
The Raiders (6-5) missed a chance to tie Kansas City for the AFC West heading into next week’s rematch at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs, who pounded out a 28-10 victory in the second game of the season at the Oakland Coliseum.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who completed 30-of-43 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns, will be licking his lips after seeing what Darnold was able to do to the Raiders’ defense.
Darnold, in his second year with the Jets after being selected with the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft out of USC, completed 20-0f-29 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions, and set up another score on a 69-yard pass play to wide receiver Braxton Berrios to the one-yard-line.
“We didn’t play well in any phase of the game, didn’t show up,” said Raiders rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby, who was AFC Defensive Player of the Week after he had four sacks last week against the Cincinnati Bengals and added one against Darnold. “We didn’t have enough energy.
“We can’t take anybody lightly, but we have to bounce back and learn from this tame. We have to go back to work and get ready for next week because Kansas City will be more than ready.”
Quarterback Derek Carr of the Raiders, who came into the game having completed more than 70 percent of his passes this season, complete 15-of-27 for only 127 yards, but was victimized by a handful of dropped throws and was pulled near the end of the third quarter.
Carr’s pass bounced off wide receiver Tyrell Williams when he was hit by linebacker Neville Hewitt, and cornerback Brian Poole intercepted the deflection and returned it 15 yards for the final touchdown with 6:18 left in the third quarter.
“We got our butts kicked, there’s no way to get around that,” said Carr, who led the Raiders to a 45-20 victory over the Jets two years ago in Oakland. “All praise to the Jets, they got after us from start to finish and we have to learn from it, like earlier in the season when we got kicked in the face by the Vikings and battled back.
“The Jets showed up to play and we didn’t. This is unacceptable and I take full responsibility. It’s my fault. … I always expect to play well and win. I’m almost 30 and I want to win now. I hope this wakes everyone up.”
Mike Glennon replaced Carr and completed 4-of-7 for 20 yards, but also fumble a snap under center and two other snaps when he was in shotgun formation.
Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs came into the game needing only 77 yards rushing to reach 1,000 for the season, but was limited to 34 yards on 10 carries, although he didn’t get many chances once the Jets built a 20-3 lead early in the third quarter.
Like Carr, Jacobs spent the fourth quarter on the bench with his helmet off.
“Things are never as good as they seem, or as bad as they seem” said Raiders rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, who caught three passes for 31 yards. “Things kind of snowballed on us and ran down the slope.
“But in this league, one game doesn’t ruin your chances, so we have to forget about this one, come back and hopefully get a big win next week.”
Daniel Carlson gave the Raiders a 3-0 lead with a 48-yard field goal on the first series of the game, but Carlson missed from 43 yards with 7:13 left in the second quarter when the Jets’ lead was only 10-3.
Carlson’s kick looked good most of the way, but it appeared that the wind blew it barely wide left at the last second.
That’s the kind of day it was for the Silver and Black.