There will be no LaMont Jordan reunion this Sunday as the RB is not playing due to a knee injury.
As the Jets head into their Week 17 showdown with Oakland, perhaps no one sums up Gang Green’s attitude better than Raiders owner Al Davis with his longstanding motto: “Just win, baby.”
In a league filled with complicated playoff scenarios and implications, it actually is that simple for the Jets in the final week of the regular season. With a win on Sunday, there is no way New York, who finished 4-12 just a season ago, could miss out on the playoffs. And all they have to do is beat the lowly 2-13 Raiders.
However, it will not be as simple as it sounds. While the Raiders have struggled tremendously this season, including dropping their last eight games, they do have some talent on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Randy Moss may have even been the most talented player on the field for either team this weekend, but Raiders coach Art Shell has declared Moss out of this week’s game with an ankle injury.
Moss has be an anomaly throughout his career. As early as his rookie season he established himself as one of the most gifted athletes in the NFL. However, off the field mishaps, a poor work ethic, and a lack of enthusiasm have effectively derailed the superstar’s career as he his production has dropped significantly since arriving in Oakland. Moss has just 42 catches for 553 yards this season.
The superstar wide receiver will not be the only key element of the Raiders offense missing on Sunday. The team will also be without running back Lamont Jordan, who may have had some extra motivation playing against his former team. Instead it will be Justin Fargas, who is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, getting a bulk of the touches for Oakland.
Despite the injuries on offense, the Raiders defense could pose a problem for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and the Jets offense. While the Jets have relied a great deal on quarterback Chad Pennington and their passing game, the Raiders have a talented young secondary that has generated 18 interceptions this season. The Jets ground game will have to find a way to get it going on Sunday as it may be difficult to pass on Oakland’s defense. Still it will take a big effort from rookie running back Leon Washington as both Cedric Houston and Kevan Barlow are listed as questionable.
Two Jets stars Laveranues Coles and cornerback Andre Dyson are both listed as questionable for Sunday. Niether practiced this week as Dyson has a knee injury and Coles is listed with a jaw/head injury.
Still despite their injuries and possible match-up problems, the Jets have a clear edge in the motivation department. While Oakland simply cannot wait for their season to be over, the Jets will be playing to extend theirs as a win will put them back in the playoffs at 10-6.
-Even if the Jets lose on Sunday they could still back into the playoffs, but they would need help. A Cincinnati loss coupled with either a Jaguars loss or a Titans win or a Jaguars loss and a Denver loss would put the Jets into the postseason.
-Oakland could end up with the number one overall draft pick with a loss this week and a Detroit victory. Regardless of this week, the Raiders cannot end up with a pick lower than second in the 2007 draft.
-Although he’s is listed as questionable, iron horse WR Laveranues Coles will play on Sunday. Head coach Eric Mangini has praised the veteran’s toughness all year and it seems unlikely Coles will want to miss the franchise’s biggest game in years.
New York Jets
-FB B.J. Askew (Foot): Questionable
-RB Kevan Barlow (Thigh): Questionable
-CB David Barrett (Hip): Questionable
-WR Laveranues Coles (Head/Jaw): Questionable
-CB Andre Dyson (Knee): Questionable
-FB James Hodgins (Knee): Questionable
-RB Cedric Houston (Calf): Questionable
-S Kerry Rhodes (Knee): Questionable
-DB Eric Smith (Foot): Questionable
-LB Matt Chatham (Foot): Probable
-OL Brandon Moore (Back): Probable
-DL Rashad Moore (Hand): Probable
-QB Chad Pennington (Calf): Probable
-QB Patrick Ramsey (Calf): Probable
-DE Bryan Thomas (Shoulder): Probable
-RB LaMont Jordan (Knee): Out
-WR Jerry Porter (Hip): Out
-WR Randy Moss (Ankle): Out
-QB Aaron Brooks (Neck): Questionable
-RB Zack Crockett (Heel): Questionable
-G Kevin Boothe (Elbow): Probable
-T Robert Gallery (Neck): Probable
-G Corey Hulsey (Knee): Probable
-CB Fabian Washington (Shoulder): Probable
Game time on Sunday is at 1PM. Local TV on CBS 2 and local radio on 1050 ESPN radio and WCRN 104.3 on Long Island. Be sure to check back to Jets Insider.com after the game for a complete recap!