Raiders Vs. Titans Preview: Make Or Break Time For Oakland

If you read my rewind on Thursday, you know I’m not as down on this Oakland Raiders team as many others. Honestly, I get why the Raiders have lost (and looked terrible) the past two weeks. You’ve got a 10 a.m. PT East Coast game against the New York Jets. You’ve got a road game against one of the best teams in the league in the Kansas City Chiefs. I get it.

But what are we doing here, Raiders? What’s the goal? Are we still thinking playoffs? Because if we are, this Sunday’s game is a must-win. The season is running out of time and when you get a chance to beat a wild card contender at home, there are no excuses left.

Heading into Sunday’s game, the Tennessee Titans are 7-5 having won five out of their last six games — including wins over the Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. The reason for the turnaround is the revival of quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s career, as the former Dolphin has actually been the sixth-highest-scoring quarterback in the league from a fantasy perspective since Week 7.

So, what needs to happen for the Raiders to defy the odds (they’re currently three-point home underdogs) on Sunday? Here are some things to watch…

Turn Tannehill Over

In the last three wins, Tannehill has thrown for six touchdowns and no interceptions (he has also added two touchdowns on the ground as well). In his one loss this season, the Panthers were able to force him into two interceptions — which made the difference in the game despite the Titans out-gaining the Panthers by a significant margin.

Josh Jacobs, as usual

These keys tend to be repetitive week-to-week, but if the Raiders are going to win, they need a massive day from Josh Jacobs. Again, in looking at the difference between the three games Tannehill has won of late compared to the one loss, the biggest thing that jumps out is the rushing totals. In the three wins, the Titans allowed an average of 105 yards per game. In the loss? 156.

On the season, the Titans are allowing the 10th-fewest rushing yards per game, one spot ahead of the Raiders. Which means…

Derek Carr bounce-back

The haters have made their presence known this week after having to spend the first 11 weeks of the season in hiding — but Derek Carr knows the noise around him is getting louder, and this week is the perfect opportunity to silence the critics. The Titans are allowing the 27th-most passing yards per game (260.1). Combine that with the fact that this game is at home — a place Carr is comfortable — and it all adds up to what needs to be a great performance.


I don’t need to belabor this, but the Raiders will not win this game with more than a handful of penalties. The Titans are legit, and games like this come down to the little things — whether or not the Raiders can keep the referees out of the equation will go a long way to righting this ship.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Titans 25

Every part of me wants to pick a Raider loss here, but I’ve just got a sneaking suspicion that the Raiders are going to show up on Sunday. The defense has quietly been much better of late, and with the offense back in the comfort of their own home, I think we see a week where everything clicks.

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