Titans-Raiders preview

For a rare time in recent memory, the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans will not be meeting in a game with postseason ramifications.

Both teams enter Sunday's game in Oakland with a 4-9 record. The Oakland Raiders took a step backward last week in getting routed 35-10 by the Atlanta Falcons after showing some signs of life over the previous four games. The Titans, meanwhile, lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 49-38 on Monday night.

Neither team has a defense that has offered much resistance so Sunday could be a higher scoring game:

Here's a closer look:

Titans on offense: It might not be the same seeing the Titans without Steve McNair at quarterback and Eddie George at running back but the combination of Billy Volek and Chris Brown has performed quite well. Volek has filled in capably for McNair in throwing 13 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Wide receiver Drew Bennett has enjoyed a superb season in recording 63 catches for 1,011 yards and eight touchdowns.

The problem with Tennessee's ground game now is that Brown is ruled out with a turf toe injury which means Antowain Smith will likely get the call. Brown has amassed 1,067 yards rushing. Tennesee's ability to run could get even easier with defensive tackles Ted Washington and Warren Sapp hobbled. Then again, their presence has not made Oakland better.

Raiders on offense: The running game recorded its first 100-yard game in eight weeks but the passing game was clearly weakened by the absence of wide receiver Ronald Curry.

The Titans defense showed that it is clearly vulnerable in giving up 49 points to Kansas City. Then again, the Raiders hardly have the amount of weapons the Chiefs have.

Bottom line: The Titans showed more promise than Oakland last week but the one thing that gives the Raiders a legitimate chance to win Sunday is the fact that Tennessee had a Monday night game followed by a cross-country trip.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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