The Oakland Raiders went back out on the road looking to bounce back from a 35-to-28 loss to the the Atlanta Falcons last week where the Oakland defense struggled to slow down the offense at all.
The Raiders defense has had a tough start to the season, giving up over 1,000 yards and 69 points in the first two games but went into Nashville to face a Tennessee Titans offense that was averaging just 16 points per game.
Head coach Jack Del Rio also made a couple of changes during the week by inserting a couple of his rookie draft picks into the starting lineup, safety Jack Del Rio and middle linebacker Cory James.
Del Rio's defense responded in a big way, forcing three turnovers against the Titans. Unfortunately, the Raiders offense weren't able to capitalize on it.
The Raiders first turnover came when linebacker Bruce Irvin came up for a big hit after Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scrambled, safety Reggie Nelson recovered it to give Derek Carr and the offense a short field.
Carr and the offense were plagued by a holding call, and forced to settle for a 52-yard field goal that put them up 10-to-3.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave got the Raiders scoring going early with a well-called first drive that got them into the end zone for the early lead. Musgrave didn't dial up a run play until the fifth play of the drive when Latavius Murray found some running room up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown for the 7-to-3 lead.
Carr and company would keep the offense rolling on their next drive using some of their young speedy backs. Rookie running back DeAndre Washington bursted through the left side for 30 yards. Carr then found wide receiver Seth Roberts who made a nice move on the defender to make it 17-3 late in the first half.
It looked like the Raiders would have another opportunity to get another field goal on the board when Nelson intercepted Mariota with just seconds remaining on the clock, but Nelson didn't get out of bounds quick enough and the clock wound down.
The Raiders defense would come up big again in the third quarter when free agent cornerback Sean Smith would intercept Mariota, giving Carr a short field again. Unfortunately the Raiders were unable to capitalize again, punting the ball back to the Titans.
On a day topping 90 degrees and humid, the Titans continued to pound the ball with their two-headed running back attack with Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray. Murray got into the end zone for the Titans lone touchdown near the end of the third quarter, getting to the edge to make the score 17-10.
Ken Norton, Jr.'s defense continued to come up strong, holding the Titans offense scoreless the rest of the game.
After failing to run the clock out, Del Rio and the Raiders punted the ball back to Mariota and the Titans with 1:51 on the clock and just one timeout.
The Raiders seemingly went into prevent defense, letting Mariota and the Titans offense drive down the field in a matter of seconds. In fact, the Titans could have had 1st and goal from the three-yard line but offensive lineman Taylor Lewan committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he came flying in after the play to hit Sean Smith who was on the ground. That play backed them up to the 18 yard line.
On the very next play Mariota found wide receiver Andre Johnson wide open in the corner of the end zone, but he pushed off of TJ Carrie and was called for offensive pass interference.
Facing 4th and 4, Mariota went right back at Carrie who was in good position as the ball sailed wide to secure the Raiders 17-to-10 victory.
The Raiders will head back out on the road to take on the Baltimore Ravens, who are undefeated after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-17 Sunday.null