NASHVILLE – The Titans face off against the Las Vegas Raiders at Nissan Stadium on Sunday.
Here’s a look at six things to watch in the competition:
Next, we’ll start running from Derrick Henry. But I’m leading with the passing game because the Titans need more success here if they’re going to make more room in football. The Titans come out of a game as quarterback Ryan Tannehill completes just 11 passes for 117 yards with two interceptions. By two games, the Titans are ranked 25th on offense in the NFL. Treylon Burks was the team’s top goal, catching seven times for a total of 102 yards in the team’s two games. Running back, Dontrell Hilliard has both of the team’s pass hits. The Titans need to do more here for a few reasons. Can the Raiders, who are ranked 28th in the NFL, do that against the pass defense?
It seems like everything about Henry has been questioned over the past few weeks, when he only managed 107-yard and 3.1-yard averages. Lost a step? Does it still have the same explosiveness? Why doesn’t he break more balls? Can he still carry the team? The truth is, it was hard to find, as it was shot so often in the backfield before it could create much momentum. The Titans need to take Henry on Sunday against the Raiders defense, which has been pretty solid in two games here.
The Titans have done a relatively good job protecting Tannehill so far. He was fired only three times in two games, and one of those sacks came in as a fugitive. But the Titans need a solid all-around effort to get more success in running the ball, and the team relies on the big guys at the front. Dennis Daley will play from the left, while rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere will play from the right. However, he will take all 11 against a Raiders defense that includes Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby, who switched along with former Titans linebacker Jayon Brown.
Big Challenge for Secondary
Monday night in Buffalo for Tennessee’s second division was a memorable Monday night, as Bills quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs played and caught on the field all night. Well, the Raiders head to town with loads of guns of their own, and the offensive is led by quarterback Derek Carr. Raiders receiver Davante Adams has tuned into the Titans while with the Packers, and Darren Waller himself is a burden. The plight of Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow will be well worth watching until kickoff as he missed practice time with a concussion. The Titans played many different combinations in the secondary, and this is expected to continue this week. Titans vs Raiders need to be better.
The last time we saw the Titans at Nissan Stadium, Giants running back Saquon Barkley was running through the defense on his way to a big day. The Titans missed interventions and were sloppy in their mission. It would be nice to say that the Titans fixed things in Buffalo, but the truth is that the Bills were so lucky to throw the ball, they didn’t bother running too much. And when they did, they still had good running room, with an average of 4.2 yards per carry. Here, the Titans cannot afford to fall short against the Raiders, who outstripped Josh Jacobs for being skilled and tough.
Two games, two suffocating puns. While Titans rookie receiver Kyle Philips is skeptical about Sunday’s game, who else can give a nod? Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said earlier this week that the Raiders have arguably the best group of experts in the NFL in bookmaker AJ Cole and kicker Daniel Carlson. The Titans must play their part in special teams while avoiding making mistakes. Titans bettor Ryan Stonehouse has been solid so far, averaging 56.3 yards at 12 punts. Kicker Randy Bullock is 2 out of 3 field goals so far, but a huge loss. It would be nice to see the Titans put on a game-changing game here on Sunday.