Denarius Moore stretches to get the ball into the end zone at the end of his 23-yard TD run vs. the Jets. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
`Three games into the season, we know this about the Raiders:
The team in silver and black has a plethora of playmakers.
Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Jason Campbell, Michael Bush, Kevin Boss, Taiwan Jones and Sebastian Janikowski were some of the impact players who took starring roles in a 34-24 win over the previously unbeaten New York Jets Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
A group of skill-position players that had head coach Hue Jackson giddy over their potential in training camp has made an impact in a 2-1 start, the team's first since 2002.
On Sunday, the Raiders’ talented skill players again showed what they can do while a physical offensive line opened holes and the defensive unit smothered the Jets’ beloved running game.
After coming off a tough loss to Buffalo last week, Jackson told reporters before the Jets matchup that it was time for his team to make a statement.
“It’s time to rise up and play,” he said. “The time is now.”
Evidently, they heard his message, and Oakland’s impact players left their mark:
-- McFadden carried 17 times for 171 yards and two TDs, one coming on 70-yard breakaway in the second quarter.
-- Overall, the Raiders rushed for 234 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per carry.
-- Campbell again directed the offense with efficiency, connecting on 18 of 27 passes for 156 yards without a turnover.
-- Rookie wide receiver Moore, after his breakout game against the Bills, showed off terrific speed to score on a 23-yard reverse after it appeared he might be stopped deep in his own backfield. He also caught four balls for 34 yards.
-- Bush had just 10 touches, but had 58 yards in combined rushing/receiving yards and scored a fourth-quarter TD.
-- Boss, in his first game as a Raiders tight end after sitting out the first two games with an injury, had two catches for 36 yards – one a 28-yarder – and provided Campbell with another solid option.
-- Rookie running back Jones, who has dazzled teammates and opponents alike since training camp, made an impact on special teams by recovering a fumble by Antonio Cromartie on a kickoff return to set up a Bush TD that put Oakland up 31-17.
-- And Janikowski – who in the season-opener tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal – hit two more long ones against the Jets, from 54 and 49 yards.
It all added up to delicious payback for the Raiders, who were beaten 38-0 by Rex Ryan’s Jets back in 2009, when QB Mark Sanchez made headlines by eating a hot dog on the sidelines. This time, the Jets got their buns kicked.
As Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News wrote of Oakland’s win over a team that has gone to the AFC Championship Game two straight seasons, it was “an emphatic statement toward relevancy and playoff contention.”
Next up for the Raiders are the Patriots, who come into Oakland this Sunday.