The Jets fell to 2-1 on the season Sunday, losing to the Oakland Raiders by a 34-24 score. New York’s usually steadfast run defense was shredded apart by the Raiders, with Darren McFadden amassing 171 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Mark Sanchez threw for a career high 369 yards in a losing effort.
It was not a banner day for Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. He was flagged for four penalties on passing plays, and was to blame for the turning point play of the game in the third quarter. After the Raiders had scored on a Denarius Moore touchdown run to take a 24-17 lead, Cromartie fumbled the ensuing kickoff which was recovered by Oakland. That allowed the Raiders to score easily with a short touchdown run by Michael Bush and go up by two touchdowns.
Sanchez connected with Plaxico Burress on a 16-yard touchdown pass to cut the Raiders lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but with the game on the line, the Jets defense failed to answer the call. Calvin Pace was flagged for a defensive holding penalty that if canceled out a stop that would have forced a third down play. Jason Campbell then connected with Michael Bush on a long passing play to put Oakland in field goal range. Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 49-yard field goal to put the Raiders up by the final score of 34-24 with just over two and a half minutes to play.
The Jets drove down the field with ease and appeared to have scored a touchdown with under a minute left when Sanchez scrambled on a fourth down play at the goal line. The play was originally judged a touchdown, but the video review proved the Sanchez was down by contact just shy of the goal line.
With the Buffalo Bills’ victory over the New England Patriots earlier in the day, the Jets are now tied with New England for second place in the AFC East, with both teams trailing the undefeated Bills. The Jets face the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens next Sunday in Baltimore.