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Game Scout: Raiders at Jets

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Oakland Raiders (4-8) at New York Jets (5-7)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. - TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Marv Albert, Rich Gannon

*Keys to the game: A stunning minus-18 turnover margin makes it hard to fathom the Jets were just recently prominent in the playoff picture. QB Geno Smith's confidence is in the gutter and he'll need to string together positive drives -- those not ending in turnovers, but points -- to salvage a souring season. He doesn't have to be special - the Jets are 3-0 when Smith's QB rating is 80 or better -- and RBs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell can bail him out when given the chance. Oakland has done itself no favors with poor production on first down. With nothing out of RB Darren McFadden -- 11 touches since Oct. 27 -- Rashad Jennings has picked up the slack, but he is questionable to return from a concussion. QB Matt McGloin has 452 yards passing with three touchdowns, one interception and a 90.3 passer rating in road games and the Jets have been burdened by teams willing to persistently look downfield. WR Andre Holmes had 136 yards on seven receptions against Dallas, the highest yardage figure in 29 games for the Raiders, and McGloin said he's an inviting target because of his ability to get "50-50" balls.

*Matchup to watch - Jets LDE Muhammad Wilkerson vs. Raiders RT Tony Pashos: Wilkerson has become a force with 10 sacks, but he's also stout against the run and is one of the top all-around 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL. Pashos makes his fourth straight start after missing three games with a hip injury.

*Player spotlight - Raiders S Tyvon Branch: Out since Sept. 15 with a fractured ankle, Branch was back at practice this week and said he would attempt to play against the Jets. "That's a tough guy to replace," coach Dennis Allen said. "Just getting him back on the field is a big boost obviously to him but to all of us."

*Fast facts: With 19 interceptions thrown this season, Smith is nine shy of Peyton Manning's rookie record. ... The Raiders were tied or ahead at halftime in six of their eight losses.


The Raiders have lost 12 straight games in the Eastern time zone, but if they take advantage of the Jets' giving nature and stand up to New York's physical defensive front, Oakland can snap that streak.

*Our pick: Raiders 16-15
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