Winning on the road in the NFL isn’t an easy thing to do for any team. Even though the Raiders are already gaining respect as a favorite in the AFC, they were an underdog in their opening weekend match-up in Tennessee. They weren’t the favorite, but this game might have been a little bit closer than fans had hoped for and even closer than it should have been.
Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans
The Raiders started their first drive on their own 43 after a failed onside kick by the Titans. A few plays later Carr connected with Cooper for a four-yard touchdown but after that they looked a bit out of sync. Marshawn debuted in black and silver with a 14-yard run for his first touch but after that the passing game failed to connect— specifically Cooper with three targets in the end zone that should have ended up with six on the board. Tennessee’s lone touchdown of the first half was a bootleg by Mariotta around the left side. The silver lining of the first half was kicker, Giorgio Tavecchio, who made his NFL debut after being signed Friday. Tavecchio filled in for injured Janikowski, legging out 20 and 52-yard field goals to put them up 13-10 at the half.
The Third Quarter was a pretty on par to most of the first half other than the teams opening short field drive. Both teams struggled to get much momentum on offense and defensively no one gave up many big plays. Tavecchio connect for another 52-yard field goals, becoming the first player to hit two 50+ yard field goals in his debut. The Raiders opened up the fourth quarter with a solid drive, pushing the Titans back into the redzone and finishing things with Seth Roberts getting his first score of the season from 19 yards out. Succop and Tavechhio traded field goals on more time before the Raiders closed it out 26-16.
Lynch finished with 18 carries for 76 yards, looking solid in his first game. Will he see more touches in week 2 or will this be the pace Oakland runs him at this season? Carr finished strong with 22-32 for 262 yards and 2 TDs but tomorrow during film he’s going to see some things that would have made it 3 scores and 300+ yards, had the offense been a little more in sync. The defense played their part, keeping Tennessee from doing too much damage other than a few field goals and a well-executed QB keeper in the first.
The interesting stories going into next week will be how many more touches can we expect Lynch to get in Week 2, did Tavecchio just earn himself a job in the NFL, and if this offense still has room to grow, what is their ceiling this season? It’s tough to win on the road in the NFL, 26-16 will do just fine. Just win baby, win.