OAKLAND -- The Jets expected one thing from the Raiders and got another -- and that pushed Santonio Holmes to the brink of complaining about the play calling in their 34-24 loss.
The Jets prepared to see a heavy dose of man-to-man defense from the Raiders, but the Raiders switched to zone when they lost CB Chris Johnson early in the game to a hamstring injury. They also lost S Michael Huff (concussion) early in the game.
The offense, according to Holmes, didn't handle it well.
"We've got to do a better job of adjusting on the fly as an offense," said Holmes, making a veiled criticism of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. "You can't be forced to continue doing the same things when those guys are doing something different. We have to open up the game plan a little bit and have a little bit more fun.
Faced with more zone than expected, QB Mark Sanchez struggled to get the ball to his wideouts, with Holmes and Plaxico Burress combining for only four catches. Burress scored a late touchdown. Sanchez (27-for-43, career-high 369 yards) threw underneath all day, completing 18 passes to his backs and slot receiver Derrick Mason.
When RB Shonn Greene (seven catches) is your leading receiver, something ain't right. LaDainian Tomlinson led the team with 116 receiving yards, including an 18-yard touchdown and a 74-yard catch and run that set up another score.
"Our quarterback was on the ground too many times," Holmes said. "Obviously, something didn't get adusted for us. I guess we have to go back to the lab and make it right."
Sanchez was sacked four times, all in the second half.
Holmes said he wasn't complaining about his lack of involvement. A week ago, Burress was the forgotten man. This time, it was Holmes.
"As a veteran receiver, you understand you're not going to have eight to 10 catches and 12 to 15 targets a game," he said. "Sometimes you have to deal with it. We have to have other players step up and make plays."
Rex Ryan didn't agree that the passing game struggled, noting that Sanchez threw for a career high -- but 150 yards came in the fourth quarter, when the Jets were trying to rally back from two touchdowns.
"Sanchez was throwing to somebody -- he had 369 yards -- so somebody was open," Ryan said.
Sanchez admitted they were caught off balance for a stretch.
"They completely changed their stripes," he said of the Raiders. "They played a lot of zone and they throttled us a little bit in the third quarter. Once we got adjusted, we moved the ball right down the field. But it was a little too late to make a comeback."
Holmes scoffed when asked if he tough the Oakland secondary was too tough for them.
"We knocked two of their guys out of the game," he said. "So I don't think they were tough at all."
They were tough enough.