OAKLAND, Calif. - So defense is supposed to be the Jets' strength this year? They had a strange way of showing it against the Raiders.
On a day when the Jets needed their best from the defense against a resurgent Raiders team, they instead got their worst. They were brutal from the start, allowing second-year quarterback Derek Carr to carve up the secondary and third-year tailback Latavius Murray to dominate the running game in Sunday's 34-20 loss to Oakland.
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It was the second straight loss for the Jets, coming on the heels of a 30-23 loss to the Patriots in which they actually played well for most of the game on defense.
Not this time.
Coach Todd Bowles, who presides over the defense, minced no words when offering his assessment.
"We didn't play good," he said. "We didn't tackle. We didn't stop anybody. We didn't do anything right. We didn't coach them well. We didn't play it well. It was a bad performance."
No doubt about it.
Carr finished 23-for-36 for 333 yards and four touchdown passes, and Murray gained 113 yards on 20 carries. It was easily the Jets' worst defensive performance of the season after a stretch in which they played about as well as any team in the NFL.
"We had issues with everything," Bowles said. "We didn't do anything well, so everything they did, they did it well."
Poor tackling and awful coverage were at the heart of the defensive collapse.
Antonio Cromartie agreed with Bowles' assessment of his own play -- it was mostly awful -- and the veteran cornerback estimated the team had at least 20 missed tackles. That number is simply unacceptable for a veteran defense -- and a high-priced one, too.
"Too many points, way too many third-down conversions, way too many big plays, way too many extra yards, too many missed tackles," linebacker David Harris said. "That's the outcome you get when that happens. Nobody expected this to happen, but it did. We've got to learn from it."
Harris and several other Jets said a letdown after last week's close loss to the unbeaten Patriots at Gillette Stadium was not a factor against the Raiders.
"Last week had nothing to do with this loss," Harris said.
"I don't think that had anything to do with it," Darrelle Revis said. "I don't know the number of missed tackles today, but we had a lot. That's something we've got to correct."
The Raiders had their way from the start, scoring touchdowns on their first three drives to take a 21-3 lead. It was 28-6 after the Raiders scored on their first possession of the second half.
"We've got to do better," Revis said. "It's always tough playing on the road, but we've got to play better on the road."
Good thing for the Jets they play three of their next four at home -- starting with next week's matchup with the 2-5 Jaguars -- before playing a "road game" against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
"We're going to keep pushing and we still all believe in each other, believe in the staff and believe in the players," rookie defensive end Leonard Williams said. "I still think our team believes that we can still be a winning team."