Titans Raiders rushing matchups

Titans Raiders rushing matchups
DeMarco Murray is tackled by Raiders during their 2016 matchup. Photo courtesy of USAToday

Titans Raiders rushing matchups

The Tennessee Titans play the Oakland Raiders in a week one contest of the NFL regular season. Here is a look at the rushing matchups between the two AFC teams.


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The charts provided are based on 2016 data.

Matchup grid for the Raiders defense versus the Titans offense
Data provided by NFL.com

As you can see, the Titans prefer to run up the middle. The Raiders had the twelfth ranked defense there. While it’s essential to attack the middle of the field, the Titans are not likely to exploit this. The Raiders were weak on the left end of the line. They allowed the second most yards per carry in 2016; a whopping 7.39 yards per carry. ┬áThe Titans ran left the second most times in the NFL last season and attained 6.15 yards per rush going left. The Raiders are also shown to be weak on the right side allowing 6.33 yards per rush while the Titans gain nearly five yards per carry there. The Titans were the worst at rushing behind the right guard (Josh Kline) while the Raiders were the worst at stopping runs in that direction.


The Titans strength has been running behind Taylor Lewan and Quinton Spain. In the last calendar year, the Titans have lost two of the best blocking tight ends in Anthony Fasano and Craig Stevens. Phillip Supernaw is this year’s starting blocking tight end. How will Supernaw perform in their absence? During the preseason, Derrick Henry ran well to the left. DeMarco Murray ran to the left on 66 percent of his runs this preseason. The Raiders starting right defensive end (as per Ourlads) is Mario Edwards Jr. He only had two tackles in two games last season.

Titans rushing defense versus Raiders offense
Data courtesy of NFL.com

The Titans were the third worst rushing defense up the middle in 2016. The Raiders ran up the middle more than anyone. The Titans first, fifth, and second rankings on the right side are terrific. The Raiders two 27th rankings are not. The Raiders were the second and third best at running behind the left guard and the left tackle. The Titans were 23rd and 26th there.


The Titans defense has been porous up the middle for years. Nose tackle Sylvester Williams had a poor preseason. Antwaun Woods was stellar in the preseason, but he went from starter to the practice squad. The Raiders will most definitely run at Williams to test the former Bronco. The Titans are expected to start Austin Johnson at right defensive end. Johnson was a college nose tackle that has exceptional athleticism for a man his size. The Raiders are sure to run left and test him at his new position too. While Johnson primarily played nose tackle last season, he did fill in for Jurrell Casey one week at left defensive end. That was Johnson’s best game as a rookie.

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