The Tennessee Titans got their 2017 season started with a home game against the Oakland Raiders. Here’s how things played out.
The Titans got things going with a surprise onside kick. It was one of those things — if it works, everyone loves it. If it doesn’t, everyone is going to kill you for it. It didn’t work. The Raiders scored just a couple of plays later as Amari Cooper bulled his way into the endzone.
Tennessee came out methodically on offense. Runs to DeMarco Murray and quick passes to Rishard Matthews jumpstarted the attack. Corey Davis made a big, contested catch along the sidelines to set up a Mariota sweep for the first touchdown.
The offenses were off and running early.
Adoree Jackson was the target of the Raiders early and often. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree worked him a bit, but he started to fight back during the second series. Jackson denied Cooper a touchdown on a fade, while Cooper dropped two more in the endzone. The Raiders were forced to settle for a field goal.
From here, the game settled down. The two teams traded possessions, but the Raiders got it cranked back up in the third quarter. Derek Carr got the Raiders in Titans territory, but the drive stalled. What was a punt, turned into a free three points thanks to a running into the punter penalty from Brynden Trawick. Giorgio Tavecchio nailed a 52 yard field goal to extend the Oakland lead to 16-10.
This three point swing ended up taking the Titans out of contention late.
Tennessee was able to put something together and get into the redzone, but they couldn’t convert a key 3rd and two near the goal line. They settled for three points from Ryan Succop. This became a theme of the game.
As the Titans settled for three, the Raiders threw a touchdown pass to Seth Roberts just a few plays later. The Raiders led 23-13 at that point.
The Titans got the ball back had got things moving, but once again the drive stalled. Succop was able to drill a 52 yard field goal to bring the Titans to within a touchdown.
4:49 was left as the Titans kicked off to the Raiders. Cordarrelle Patterson gave Oakland a big return, getting the ball out to their own 40 yard line. A key 3rd and three was converted by Jalen Richard. Marshawn Lynch was able to move the sticks again, pretty much ending this one.
The Raiders would add a field goal to finish this one off, winning 26-16.
The defense played as expected today and gave up some points, but the offense couldn’t keep up. We talked all offseason about how the Titans were going to play in some high scoring affairs, but they couldn’t convert when it counted today. You can’t settle for three field goals against a team like this.
I still think the Titans will be okay here, just be patient. This was the first time that Mariota has played with Eric Decker, Corey Davis and DeMarco Murray all together. It takes some time to develop chemistry, so let’s see how they respond next week in Jacksonville before we judge.