The announcement that quarterback Geno Smith will start this Sunday for the New York Jets against the Oakland Raiders came as great news for the Oakland defense. Smith was benched last week and has struggled mightily turning the ball over all season. This is an opportunity for the Raiders defense to make a statement that they can take over a game.
While the Raiders defense has been much improved this season, they have yet to dominate. They have had several strong efforts including five forced turnovers against the San Diego Chargers earlier in the year and allowing only nine points to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have slide a little of late giving up crucial late drives.
Enter Geno Smith and the Jets, who have lost three in a row and scored only 20 points in those games. Smith has thrown 19 interceptions this season already to go along with four lost fumbles. In the last three games, Smith is completing less than 40 percent of his passes and has not reached 10 completions in any of those games. He has thrown zero touchdowns to eight interceptions and has been sacks eight times during the losing streak.
Oakland's defense under defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and head coach Dennis Allen prides themselves on bringing pressure. They need to be very aggressive with Smith under center because he is so prone to turnovers. New York has allowed 42 sacks this season. This match-up is tailored made for the Raiders defense to step up and have a huge game. If they don't, it will raise serious questions about the personnel and coaching staff going forward.
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