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Raiders won't look past Jets

(TSX / STATS) -- ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The championship express? Hardly.

The Raiders quickly put a 26-16 road victory behind the to prepare for the New York Jets in Week 2, a team widely considered to have one of the worst top to bottom rosters in the NFL.

For the Raiders purposes, they will convince themselves that isn't true, while at the same time looking at the big picture and correcting the errors evident in a very strong performance to open the season.

"You want to grow, knowing the teams you're going to play down the stretch," defensive end Khalil Mack said. "You want to get better every week. That's what this league is about."

Coach Jack Del Rio set everybody straight regarding the quality of opposition.

"Our motto is basically to respect every opponent, but fear nobody," Del Rio said. "I got asked by the New York media about their team and the (point) spread. Those things mean nothing to us. It's about playing the game. It's about understanding the challenges that you face. That's what we're about."

Of particular concern is the Jets' defensive front, which traded Sheldon Richardson to Seattle but still has Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson.

"They probably have one of the better fronts in the league," Del Rio said. "It's one of the best we'll face. They're aggressive in their scheme. The two safeties they drafted are good players."

When quarterback Derek Carr was a rookie, he made his first start in the regular season road opener against the Jets and was faced with Rex Ryan's dizzying array of blitzes.

Carr completed 20 of 32 passes for 150 yards and the Raiders lost 19-14.

It's different this time around, but Carr isn't the type to overlook anybody. The New York media can talk about tanking for Sam Darnold all it wants. Carr can't afford to view it that way.

"They have really talented players," Carr said. "Their front is very active, a very physical front seven. On the back end, they've got two young guys that don't play like it. Their corners are super fast, super talented. They have talent everywhere and they're well coached."

--The accolades continue to pour in for kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, the AFC special teams player of the week after kicking field goals of 20, 52, 52 and 43 yards in the win over Tennessee.

After the win over the Titans, the Milan-born kicker was quoting Aristotle. On Wednesday, it was Tennyson (even if Tavecchio was giving credit to Shakespeare) in reference to being released seven times by four different teams.

"There were difficult times when you question can I keep giving myself in this way only to be dejected again? Shakespeare said, 'It's better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all," Tavecchio said. "Sometimes I question that, right now I'm grateful for that. Hopefully I'll look back and say, 'Whatever happens, I gave everything."

--Will first-round draft pick Gareon Conley make his Raiders debut against the Jets. It's possible, but no slam dunk.

"He's been chomping at the bit, so to speak," head coach Jack Del Rio said. "Last week he was a little disappointed that we weren't going to play him, but I assured him I thought it was imperative for us to do the right thing by him, and that when I felt he was ready, we'll play him.

"Until then, I want him to do just what he can, practice as hard as he can and prepare accordingly. We'll make the call when we think he's right."

--Tight end Jared Cook made an immediate impact with five catches for 56 yards in his first game as a Raider. His presence will enable Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper to get singled up on occasion as he draws more attention to the middle of the field.

Cook credited offensive coordinator Todd Downing with creating mismatches based on personnel.

"That's what you need to do in this league," Cook said. "No matter where they line up as a defense, they're going to have their weak points and we need to take advantage of those weak points the defense shows you."

Tackle Donald Penn credited Cook with showing tenacity as a blocker.

"He wasn't a big run blocker, but now he's putting his nose in there and fighting and battling and that's what we need him to do," Penn said.

--Linebacker Nicholas Morrow, an undrafted free agent out of Division III Greenville, had a big third-down stop on defense and was in for 19 special teams snaps in his debut.

"Stories like that are an awesome part of our league," coach Jack Del Rio said. "Guys come from different backgrounds, different experiences growing up. Obviously, he hadn't even been in front of a thousand people much less than 70,000. Tremendous jump there.

"He's created a little bit of a role for himself. He was called to go in in a key moment and didn't blink. He made a play for us that ended up being a huge play in the game."

NOTES: FB Jamize Olawale was limited with a quad injury and might play after missing the season opener. ... CB Gareon Conley was limited with a shin injury and his status for Sunday is to be determined. ... S Keith McGill was limited but for the first time since August after breaking a foot. ... LB Cory James was limited with a knee injury, but is expected to face the Jets. ... DE Khalil Mack was limited in practice for non-football related reasons. ... CB Sean Smith was limited with a neck injury but expected to face the Jets.

Updated September 13, 2017

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