Titans Raiders “Last minute” thoughts and emails

Titans Raiders
Avery Williamson intercepts a Derek Carr pass. Photo courtesy of USAToday

Titans Raiders “Last minute” thoughts and emails

Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims was declared out. The Titans usually start three cornerbacks, so Adoree Jackson would replace him. If they start two, it could be Brice McCain. Don’t get hung up on “who’s starting” but focus on which players play most.

Brice McCain did not do well in preseason. Jackson got picked on. Sims’ injury yields a considerable concern. Jackson is still more athlete than cornerback. His skills need to be refined. The Titans don’t have time to wait, so Jackson will be “thrown to the wolves.”

Sebastian Janikowski was placed on injured reserve. The Raiders activated kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. Tavecchio was 9 of 11 on field goal tries this summer and missed one extra point.

Jamize Olawale and Keith McGill II were ruled out for the Raiders.

Will Derrick Henry take over for DeMarco Murray in week one?

Yes, he will sub in for Murray. Will he take over Murray’s role? Maybe for one game, if Henry is doing well. Murray may still have some rust to knock off while Henry has been active all summer. Don’t overthink what happens in week one.

Will Taywan Taylor or Corey Davis start in three wide packages?

It doesn’t work that way. A starter is who is present on the first snap of the game. The Titans usually start in a two or three tight end set. I would expect that to be Rishard Matthews or Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker. “Playing along” Taylor should probably get the 3 WR start over Davis. He has been active since day one. He has earned that right.

In FF, Taylor or Davis?

Taylor. I am assuming Davis plays red zone packages and runs deep routes as his limited role. Davis could outscore Taylor if he catches a touchdown. In fantasy football, it’s always best to go with whichever player gets the most work though.

Will the Raider stomp on Taylor Lewan’s ankle? They have a history of being dirty.

I can’t really predict that. I think much of their “dirt” stems from the 1970s and not their current roster though. Lewan would be the last Titan I’d mess with, so even in 1970, my answer would be no.

What single issue could get into the Raiders heads on defense?

Hmmm… Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack are exceptional. If Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin can keep them away, that could crush their spirits I suppose.

Biggest advantage the Titans have?

Either Dick Lebeau coaching against a brand new offensive coordinator or the Titans run game in the fourth quarter. The Raiders are in trouble if the Titans have had rushing success through three-quarters.

Biggest advantage the Raiders have?

The wide receivers are special. The Titans defensive backs had a poor summer.

Surprise player of the game?

Austin Johnson. The Raiders starting left tackle only played one preseason game. Johnson should get the majority of snaps opposite him as the right defensive end. He is a special athlete in the mold of Jurrell Casey. Johnson looks like he is putting it all together and ready to produce in 2017.

Any thought on the Pats Chiefs game?

Antwaun Woods and Denzel Johnson need to be activated. The run defense was poor and Eric Berry got injured. I am leery of those two being acquired off of the Titans practice squad.

Can Marcus Mariota match his week one output in 2015?

No. Probably never. Mariota only had two incompletions that game. He also threw four touchdowns. He could become the greatest quarterback ever and still never have another game with just two incompletions.

Why is Derek Carr so special? What’s his best quality?

I swear I can see him thinking on the field. He’s quite cerebral. If the Titans can trick him into a mistake with a scheme on one play, he probably won’t fall for it again. He adjusts very well.

I thought you said you were working on a book out by the end of the summer. Where is it?

I had a whole back and forth with the editor for months now. I am new to book writing and shouldn’t have promised such a quick release date. I greatly appreciate your support. Thanks for noticing.

Can (Coach Mike) Mularkey handle such a good team?

Interesting question. I imagine he asks himself that in a weird existential manner. He has hopped around the NFL with lesser teams and probably always wanted to coach a top team. It’s been a while since he was with the Steelers. I don’t know if he can, I guess. It’s really an interesting question. Since he “raised” this team, I imagine he is well prepared to succeed with them.

Do you have highlights from last season’s game?

Didn’t a Titans coach have a birthday today?

Yes, Dick Lebeau’s 80th birthday

The Titans defensive coordinator has been in the NFL for 58 years. He predates the Super Bowl.

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