The Oakland Raiders (1-0) began their 2017 season with a 26-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans (0-1) in Nashville. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 262 yards and two scores. Marshawn Lynch carried eighteen times for 76 yards, in his Raiders debut. The Raiders compiled 359 yards versus a stout Tennessee defense. If this game serves as any indication, Oakland games will not fail to thrill RaiderNation.
MVP: Giorgio Tavecchio. For years, Tavecchio operated as a breather for Sebastian Janikowski. With the veteran placed on injured reserve with a back injury, Tavecchio stepped up. Granted, no one outside of the organization held much belief in his ability. However, Jack Del Rio showed the utmost faith. By kicking two fifty-yarders, Tavecchio answered doubters and solidified Del Rio’s reputation as a risk-taker. Additionally, the 43-yard field goal helped ice the victorious cake. As the season progresses, the Raiders will lean on Tavecchio to continue his fast start.
LVP: Right Tackles. When the Raiders released Austin Howard and signed Marshall Newhouse, thoughts of a slight upgrade occurred. Yet, the Titans pressured and sacked Carr from that side. If the Raiders envision postseason success, the right tackle spot needs improving. Whether schematically or substitution, this area remains concerning. Sooner or later, Von Miller or Justin Houston will feast on this liability. In a victory, room for improvement always exists.
Turning Point: With the Raiders leading 16-13, Derek Carr found Seth Roberts for a 19-yard touchdown. The game hinged on this moment. In essence, the Tennessee offensive line kept Mariota mostly clean. As a result, this touchdown afforded the defense a little breathing room. Plus, the score negated the Titans’ formidable running game.
On the other hand, that score opened the door for the Raiders to salt the clock using the run. Carries by Marshawn Lynch and Jalen Richard battered the Tennessee front. Whenever the Titans needed a stop that Carr-to-Roberts score loomed large. Tennessee burned all three timeouts before the two-minute warning.
Up Next: The Raiders fly home to welcome the New York Jets. Granted, many predicted the Jets season to border on the abysmal. Yet, football continues to serves as reminder of its fluidity. After losing to the Bills, New York hopes to spoil the Raiders’ home opener.