Game Preview: Raiders vs. Titans

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(This article was written by Franchise Sports Media’s newest reporter, Terence Smith)

 

Photo credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders‘ sensible odds of winning the AFC West seemed to have slipped when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Raiders in Week 13 40-9. The opportunity of earning a wild-card berth is at stake in Week 14 when the Tennessee Titans come to “The Town” to take on the Silver and Black.

As the No.8 seed in the AFC, it wouldn’t be in Oakland’s best interest to lose such a crucial game this Sunday. When you take a look at the standings, the Raiders are currently sitting at 6-6, trailing the  No. 7 seed Titans by just one game. All the while, Tennessee and the No. 6 seed Pittsburgh Steelers are both 7-5. Losing at home to the Titans would then put Oakland 2.5 games behind Tennessee with three weeks left in the regular season.

The Raiders haven’t been in playoff form in their last two games, both resulting in blowout losses. On the other hand, the Titans are currently catching fire as the regular season comes to a close. The Titans are 5-1 since making Ryan Tannehill the starter at quarterback over Marcus Mariota. The 31-year-old veteran seems to be playing the absolute best football of his career, accumulating a passer rating of 109.8 in all five of the teams’ wins.

Photo Credit: Fanduel

Tannehill is lighting it up on the field with 12 touchdown passes and four interceptions. He currently leads all quarterbacks by a decent edge with 9.1 yards per attempt. The Titans are scoring 29.7 points per game with Tannehill under center and haven’t scored less than 20 points in any of the quarterback’s starts. Derrick Henry has rushed for a minimum of 149 yards in their previous three games on 7.3 yards per attempt. If we take a look back to last season, Henry is averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game over his last 16 games.

It is going to be difficult for the Raider defense to slow down this offensive hot streak that the Titans have been on as of late.

Taking a look at the Raiders over the last two weeks, they’ve struggled on both sides of the ball. In their six losses, Oakland has allowed an average of 31.8 points. Only two teams have allowed a higher passing rating than the Raiders. To add insult to injury, Oakland is currently sitting at the 27th spot in opponents’ yards per play.

Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders’ offense is bound to have a bounce-back performance sooner or later. Derek Carr’s last two games were the roughest two-game stretch in two years. The last two weeks have only resulted in 12 points total for a team that was previously ranked fifth in years per play just a few weeks ago. Patrick Mahomes is the only quarterback that has put up more than 30 points against Tennessee. The Titans are currently sitting at seventh in scoring defense.

If Oakland continues to struggle with the ability to take down contending playoff teams, then it will be difficult for them to stay in the postseason picture, especially when you take into consideration that the Raiders are 0-5 against teams that enter Week 14 with a positive record. All the while, the Raiders have been outscored by an average of 18 points in those contests.

Las Vegas! If you want another great place to watch the game, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games. Al’s has “Happy Hour” starting at 9 AM and ending at 9 PM. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. Tell them, “The Franchise sent you!!”

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