Tennessee Titans vs Oakland Raiders recap

Jason O. Watson

How did the game turn out for the slumping Titans?

The Titans went into this game saying they considered it to be a "playoff" game for them, meaning that they could not afford to lose any more games if they had any aspirations of reaching the post season. Well after a handful of losses around the league and a 23-19 win in Oakland they have just worked their way back into playoff contention.

The Titans started off slow, exchanging field goals for field goals with the Raiders despite having better field position and winning the turnover battle. After the first half it looked like this would be a kicker's duel between two of the best over the last decade (Rob Bironas and Sebastian Janikoski)  until a spark arrived in the number 15 jersey.

Rookie Justin Hunter took a standard mid range pass, and after shaking and baking two Raider defensive backs he was off to the races. Hunter's speed and explosion has never been more evident in his NFL career and it looked like he finally put it all together on that drive.

Hunter's day didn't stop there. In the past, Hunter has been a one-trick pony who has been good as a deep threat, but who hasn't quite put it all together as an every down receiver. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Hunter realized his potential today. Including his 54-yard touchdown reception, Hunter ended the day with a 6-109-1 stat line that included several crucial first downs.

Justin Hunter wasn't the only Titans receiver to have a big day though, fellow young playmaker Kendall Wright continued to show he was the right pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Kendall Wright also went over the century mark receiving, and hauled in the game winning touchdown pass with :10 left on the clock. Wright went out briefly with an injured ankle, but showed that he can play through pain and that he deserves to be the safety valve on every passing play. Wright ended the day with a 6-103-1 stat line, that reads almost identically to Justin Hunter's.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Titans looked bad in the front seven. Despite the low scoring game, the linebackers and defensive line didn't make it particularly hard for Matt McGloin to move the ball down the field. The Titans ended the day with zero sacks, and didn't even manage to hit him. That sort of play is unacceptable for a defense with the kind of talent they have in the secondary.

A particularly scary moment happened when Titans safety Michael Griffin knocked off the helmet of former University of Tennessee tight end Michael Rivera. Rivera left the game with a head injury.

The Titans now have the lead for the 6th playoff seed (aka WC2) thanks to a number of tiebreakers with contenders like the Steelers, Raiders, Chargers, and Jets.

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