Dissecting Most Crucial Matchups in Oakland Raiders’ Week 14 Contest with Jets

Although the Raiders' 4-8 record hardly has the team where they wanted to be in the standings at this point, it does little to diminish the significant strides they have made and how competitive they have been throughout the 2013 season.

Sunday's matchup on the road against the struggling New York Jets may be the lone winnable game remaining on the Raiders schedule—it's one they need badly.

If the defense continues to play the way they have so far this season, they should be able to take control against a Jets offense that has scored just six points in their past two games combined.

Having said that, the Jets' defensive front has been among the league's best in defending the run. They should force the Raiders to beat them through the air from the game's outset.

The Raiders will need to have success in a few key areas to come away with a win, and each can be narrowed down to a specific matchup.

C Stefen Wisniewski vs. NT Damon Harrison

The Raiders offensive line has performed significantly better in the games in which Stefen Wisniewski has played in rather than those he hasn't, and that is no coincidence.

Quietly so, he is becoming one of the best young centers in the NFL. He is key not only as a run- and pass-blocker, but as the leader of the entire offensive line.

Wisniewski draws a tough matchup in Damon Harrison, who has been one of the league's breakout defensive players. Harrison is a big reason for the Jets' No. 1 overall ranking defending the run.

For the Raiders to get any sort of run game going against Harrison and the Jets defense, Wisniewski will have to have his best game of the year to be able to keep Harrison in check.

If not, the Jets defense will continue their dominance up front, and this could turn into an extremely low-scoring game.


Raiders Secondary vs. QB Geno Smith


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