EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Dennis Allen was irked by several failures in his Oakland Raiders’ latest defeat: a slow start, turnovers and shaky special teams.
The biggest culprit was the defense, especially in the second half when the Raiders tried to mount a comeback in the New York Jets’ 37-27 victory Sunday.
“Unfortunately, every time that we got ourselves back in the ballgame by going down and scoring,” Allen said, “defensively, we couldn’t make it hold up.”
A week after being benched, rookie Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Jets (6-7) set a season high for points and stopped a three-game skid against the leaky Raiders defense.
Matt McGloin threw two touchdown passes for the Raiders (4-9) and fullback Marcel Reece, starting because Oakland was down three injured running backs, had a 63-yard touchdown run.
Oakland has lost three straight overall, and 13 in a row in games played in the Eastern time zone.
“Today is as bad as we played this whole season,” safety Charles Woodson said. “It was really embarrassing to be part of it. We looked like the Bad News Bears out there. I do want to give a lot of credit to our offense. They never stopped fighting and really gave us a chance to still be in the game.”
After falling behind 20-3, Oakland got on the scoreboard right away in the second half as Reece zipped up the middle for a 63-yard touchdown. The Jets came right back as Smith ran for an 8-yard score.
McGloin connected with Rod Streater on a 48-yard touchdown pass on a ball threaded between Ed Reed and Antonio Cromartie, who smacked into each other that made it 27-17 in the third quarter.
“As an offense we settled in, made some adjustments at halftime, which was good to see,” McGloin said. “We played well in the second half and competed.”
But Chris Ivory blasted into the end zone from 15 yards, slipping out of three tackle attempts and dragging a fourth Raiders defender over the goal line for a 37-20 lead. The play was set up by Smith’s 32-yard scramble.
Nick Folk kicked three field goals for New York and Antonio Allen blocked a punt and returned it for a score to help the Jets avoid their first four-game losing streak under Rex Ryan.
“Man, we needed that in the worst way,” Ryan said, “to say the least.”
Smith ended a miserable stretch that included getting benched last week by throwing his first touchdown pass since Week 7. He finished 16 of 25 for 219 yards with an interception, and ran five times for 50 yards.
While not eliminated, the Raiders will need to sweep the final three games, and get a lot of help, to make the playoffs.
“We’ve got some tough guys on this team and I don’t think guys will quit playing regardless of where we’re at as a team,” Woodson said.
With Oakland trailing 10-0, Terrelle Pryor came in at quarterback on the Raiders’ third offensive series, a planned entrance to help offset the Raiders’ lack of running backs with Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings and Jeremy Stewart all inactive with injuries.
“We wanted to get him in early in the game and then evaluate it and see how it went after that,” Allen said.
Pryor led a drive capped by a 41-yard field goal by Janikowski. Then McGloin returned and, on third-and-9 from the 3, Reed got his 62nd career interception and first as a Jet to lead to a field goal.
Allen blocked Marquette King’s punt, recovered it and returned it for a touchdown to put New York ahead 20-3.
McGloin, 18 of 31 for 245 yards, connected with Mychal Rivera on a 1-yard touchdown with 2:24 remaining.
“It’s a loss,” McGloin said. “It’s frustrating, disappointing. You can say it’s the experience thing, a learning process. It’s just a bunch of excuses. It’s another loss, at the end of the day.”
NOTES: Allen said TE Nick Kasa and DT Vance Walker suffered concussions, and LB Sio Moore had a neck injury, but he returned for the Raiders. ... Streater finished with seven catches for 130 yards.
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