Titans Smash Raiders at the Black Hole, 42-21
A second-half defensive surge propels Tennessee past Oakland.
Tennessee got the ball to start the game and promptly went to work. The Titans would go 54 yards on a 12 play drive and eat six-minutes of the clock up. It would go for naught nonetheless as Raiders defensive end Dion Jordon would deflect a Ryan Tannehill pass into Maurice Hurst’s hands, thus ending the production.
Hurst returned the ball to the Tennessee 24 yard line leading to a prime opportunity for Oakland to strike first.
And strike they did.
It only took three plays before DeAndre Washington would run from 14 yards to give the Raiders the 7-0 lead.
Tennessee on the next possession drove eight plays before Titans back Derrick Henry swept from the left to tie it with a 12-yard touchdown run.
After a Raiders punt, the Titans would take control. It only took one play and what a play it was. Tannehill hit wide receiver, A.J. Brown, on a 91-yard catch-and-run touchdown strike. The game was the longest for the Titans in four years.
Oakland would respond with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Rico Gafford to tie it up.
The next Titan drive featured two critical A.J. Brown receptions. On the eighth play, Tannehill dropped down the ball to Brown, and he subsequently rumbled through three would-be tacklers from 16 yards out.
Oakland would damn near eat up the rest of the second quarter over 14 plays. And seeing how the game was going, it was no surprise Oakland would score. Carr hit receiver “The Island Of” Foster Moreau from a yard out for the touchdown. The play-action absolutely froze the Titan defense, who were in man-to-man defense.
With 24 seconds left and a couple of Tannehill plays, the Titans would end up at the Raider 24 with seconds left. Ryan Succop’s 42-yard field goal attempt would hit the left upright. And that’s how we would end the half.
In contrast to a first-half featuring only one punt, the third would start off with a barrage of punts and a pair of three and outs for both teams.
Tennessee would drive 89 yards fueled along by a 42-yard reception by MyCole Pruitt. The drive capped off by a Derrick Henry 10-yard touchdown run finally cut the stagnant second half.
Following a Raider three-and-out, Tennessee would run an efficient nine-play 84-yard drive while Jonnu Smith would get in on the action with a 17-yard touchdown reception.
Tennesse’s Tye Smith would force a fumble on the following Raider drive leading to linebacker Jayon Brown picking up the ball for a 46-yard Titan touchdown. Tennessee led, 42-21 with 12 and a half left in the game.
Oakland’s last gasp drive took up four minutes of the clock but stalled like an old Buick on the Titan one.
The missed field goal by Succop in the closing seconds of the second quarter marked the ninth miss for Tennessee this year. That is the most for the Titans since relocating to Nashville.
Derrick Carr had an efficient day against a depleted Titans secondary. He threw for 263 yards on 25/35, passing with two touchdowns.
The Oakland offensive line has improved drastically since last year. Carr has only been sacked 18 times, coming into today’s game. This time last year, Oakland surrendered 51 sacks.
Titans signal-caller Ryan Tannehill’s rating was much like Olivia Munn circa 2010. Nearly perfect. Tannehill had a 140.4 rating throwing for 391 and three touchdowns.
Tannehill threw to ten different receivers, including five to A.J. Brown. Brown led all receivers with 153 yards and two impressive touchdowns.
With Raider star running back, Josh Jacobs out DeAndre Washington had season highs in production. His 14 carries smashed his previous high of six. Washington had 86 yards of total offense and a touchdown.
The Titan defense was manhandled in the first half, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees made some adjustments holding the Raiders scoreless in the second half.
A.J. Brown’s 91-yard touchdown in the second quarter was the longest Titans play in five years. In 2014 Zach Mettenberger threw an 80-yard strike to Nate Washington.
Tennessee racked up 552 yards of total offense marking the first time since 2009 the Titans reached the 500-yard plateau.
The Titans (8-5) with this win, now have tied Houston for the lead in the AFC South. They put their four-game winning streak on the line as they play host to the Texans for the outright lead in the division next Sunday.
Oakland falls to 6-7 and falls further behind Kansas City (8-4) for the AFC West lead. They will welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday in their last home game ever in Oakland.
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