(Mandatory Photo Credit: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle)
Written By: Joseph Yun
The 0-2 Revenge Bowl awaits an adoring yet nervous crowd for the Titans when the Raiders travel to Nashville. Which winless team can get back to meeting expectations, getting off the schneid? Who will remain winless on a Sunday afternoon answering questions from an impatient fanbase baying for the jobs of those in charge? A Patriots reunion of sorts for Mike Vrabel, Jon Robinson, and Josh McDaniels is also in the offing.
Raiders key numbers + info
HC: Josh McDaniels (0-2 LV, 11-19 career)
OC: Mick Lombardi
DC: Patrick Graham
2022 Record: 0-2 (0-1 AFC West)
PPG Against: 26.5
Rush yards: 144
Rush yards allowed: 219
Avg. per rush attempt: 4.2
Avg per attempt allowed: 3.7
Pass completion rate: 62%
Pass completion allowed: 63%
Leading Rusher: Josh Jacobs (29 attempts for 126 yards)
Leading Receiver: Davante Adams (12 receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns)
Leading Tackler: Nate Hobbs (20 tackles, one pass defense, one forced fumble)
Key Additions: WR Davante Adams, RB Ameer Abdullah, RB Zameer White (rookie), DE Chandler Jones, DT Bilal Nichols, S Duron Harmon, CB Rock Ya-Sin, LB Jayon Brown, OT Justin Herron, WR Keelan Cole, QB Jarrett Stidham, DT Johnathan Hankins, OT Jermaine Eluemunor
Key Losses: DE Yannick Ngakoue, DE Carl Nassib, LB Corey Littleton, CB Trayvon Mullen, RB Kenyan Drake, LB Micah Kiser (IR), CB Anthony Averett (IR), LB Jordan Jenkins (IR)
The Raiders lead the all time series 30-21-0. The teams have split the series with seven wins apiece since the 1999 season when the Oilers transitioned to being the Titans.
Keys to a Titans Victory
Find an offensive line
- The line was a ginormous question entering the 2022 season, and the questions haven’t abated after two horrific performances to date. Now, longtime left tackle Taylor Lewan has been declared out for this week’s game and it is a question of longterm health. Left guard Aaron Brewer has been an utter disaster. The right side has fared a bit better but not by much. How bad has it been for the blockers up front? In a nutshell:
Is there a healthy defensive lineman?
- Bueller? Bueller? Harold Landry, of course has been lost for the season. Highly paid star Bud Dupree has been declared out this week after suffering an injury on Monday night. The onus is on Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry to carry the burden among a cast of merry veteran castaways. Good news is that the Raiders’ offensive line is somewhat of a mismash themselves. Tennessee will have to manufacture pressure from somewhere, so a heavy blitz game will likely be used.
Mentality / Roster Management
- The days between the beatdown on Monday and Sunday are as short as the daylight hours during the coming winter. Once again, Tennessee sports one of the larger injury reports and injured reserve players in the league. It’s time to take a long and hard look at the suboptimal strength and conditioning staff that they somehow employ. Can the Titans bounce back physically and mentally from such a decisive and demonstrative ignominious degradation in Buffalo?
Keys to a Raiders Victory
Let the defensive front EAT!
- It’s quite a clear advantage when the Raiders front seven is on the field against these woebegone Titans linemen. It might behoove Vegas to employ a simple front four to devastate a further depleted line instead of using blitz packages. Chandler Jones should dominate in Nashville for the second consecutive year while Maxx Crosby puts up Pro Bowl numbers on the other side. The interior lanes should be wide open for whomever lines up against Aaron Brewer. Linebacker Jayon Brown should be well motivated to prove that the Titans made a costly error in letting him go. It might be a mismatch that has never been seen in the long and storied annals of this league. One thing that will help is that Ryan Tannehill, while plenty athletic, isn’t quite the wondrous marvel that Kyler Murray is.
Secondary? Let Todd Downing be Todd Downing
- Yeah, the Titans don’t even have the right offensive coordinator to execute a proper 7 on 7 scrimmage, much less an actual game setting. The Raiders could afford to send down both safeties into the box on occasion as it were. Treylon Burks and Robert Woods are so far off the radar in terms of having to devote coverage to (due to a shoddy offensive line). The Titans' preferred weapon of choice in short to intermediate range bafflingly has been Geoff Swaim instead of any other seemingly more talented options. Expect another long day for Derrick Henry in this one as Tennessee scrambles to find some semblance of productivity. A reunion of sorts with Todd Downing who was let go by the Raiders for ineffectiveness coaching Derek Carr and his cohorts.
- Speaking of glaring mismatches, I present the Raiders offensive skill against the wounded Titans secondary. Of course, Davante Adams is an absurdly and otherworldly talented receiver. Unfortunately for the Raiders, reliable Hunter Renfrow has been declared out for the game so more onus is on Adams and superstar tight end Darren Waller. Vegas has some issues along the offensive line much like their Nashville counterparts so who can protect the most will determine the winner. More love for Josh Jacobs and his fantasy owners in this one? Tennessee isn’t completely bereft of secondary aficionados as they have Kevin Byard and young veterans like Kristian Fulton back healthy. Amani Hooker, Lonnie Johnson, and newly acquired Terrance Mitchell have game experience so that counts for something. How long can the secondary hold up against a much superior receiving talent of the Raiders?
Injury Report - Raiders @ Titans
What are the Odds?
BetMGM has the Raiders being 2.5 point favorites at -110, the money line being -135 for Vegas, and the Titans being +110. over/under is set at 45.5
Caesar’s has the Raiders being 2 point favorites at -110, the money line being -130 for Vegas, and the Titans being +110. The over/under is set at 45.5.
WynnBet has the Raiders being 2 point favorites at -110, the money line being -130 for Vegas and the Titans being +110. over/under is set at 45.5.
DraftKings has the Raiders being 2.5 point favorites at -105 with the money line being -130 for Vegas and the Titans being +110. over/under is set at 45.5.
LAS VEGAS 38