This is a different Jets team from the one that lost to the Raiders on Dec. 2. New York turned the ball over twice that Monday night, and one of the turnovers was a fumbled punt that allowed Oakland to stretch its lead from three to 10 points in the third quarter, putting the Jets in catch-up mode. Since then New York has turned the ball over once in five games. No more freebies against this team.
In the first meeting the Jets' zone confused quarterback Rich Gannon at times and slowed the Raiders' Gnat Attack. But in the second half wideouts Jerry Rice and Tim Brown burned New York on seam routes, so I think you'll see more man coverage by the Jets.
New York's Chad Pennington will come out throwing, testing corners Charles Woodson and Tory James, both of whom are coming back from leg injuries. When the Jets go to the run, they'll have more success than they did last time, because the return of left guard Dave Szott gives them one of the best run-blocking lines in the league.
The Pick: Jets 31, Raiders 27