The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off one of the ugliest losses in franchise history and, in Week 3, are already approaching a must-win game. No way around it, climbing out of a 0-2 hole in the AFC won’t be easy. The Silver and Black have a massive opportunity to get into the win column against the sinking Tennessee Titans. With both teams’ seasons on the line, here are three of the Titans’ biggest weaknesses that the Raiders can exploit.
The Raiders need to attack the Titans’ offensive line.
The Titans’ offensive line is paper thin following an injury to left tackle Taylor Lewan against Buffalo. While injuries aren’t to be celebrated, this presents a huge opportunity for the Raiders’ defensive line, which has been stagnant. Maxx Crosby, of course, has looked like his usual dominant self. Although the sacks do not tell the entire story, he has been consistent and disruptive. Chandler Jones, however, has disappeared, much to the frustration of Raider Nation.
Vrabel on the offensive line and possible changes depending on LT Taylor Lewan's health, possibly moving rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere?
"I think we would consider everything at this point in time … with every position group."
— Teresa Walker (@TeresaMWalker) September 20, 2022
If Lewan is out, Mike Vrabel might have to start rookie third-round tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. The Titans’ head coach was quoted as saying that they are currently looking at all of their options. If that’s the case, Crosby and Jones need to wreak havoc. If Tannehill can’t be disrupted with such a depleted O-line, there are going to be serious concerns moving forward.
Derek Carr should be able to pick apart Tennessee’s young secondary.
Outside of the ball-hawking Kevin Byard, the Titans’ secondary is extremely young and inexperienced. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but after solid performances from both Josh Allen and Daniel Jones, it could be something to exploit. Of course, this works both ways. The Tennessee secondary will give the Raiders plenty of opportunities, but there are warranted doubts that Derek Carr is up to the challenge of even the worst secondary. This comes after throwing for just over 40 yards in the second half and overtime combined against Arizona.
Carr will have to exploit the likes of Kristian Fulton (hamstring), though he’s dealing with injury problems and could be out. But there’s still Roger McCreary and Amani Hooker, who are all between 22 and 24 years old. If Josh McDaniels and Carr cannot dial up a solid outing with a star-studded supporting cast, the Raiders have much deeper problems.
Get to Ryan Tannehill quickly and often.
Thus far into the season, Ryan Tannehill has looked lost post-A.J. Brown. While Tennessee’s struggles aren’t all his fault, he certainly hasn’t helped. With a depleted O-line, Tannehill has struggled mightily under pressure. The cast of rookie Treylon Burks, veteran Robert Woods, and powerhouse Derrick Henry has looked lackluster to start the season. On the other hand, Tannehill has had his way against the Raiders in years past.
QBs who have started vs the #Raiders the most w/out ever losing:
Ryan Tannehill 4-0
Matt Ryan 4-0
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 21, 2022
Tannehill has posted a 4-0 record with a 124.4 passer rating in his career against the Silver and Black, the best with four starts. The Raiders’ game plan should be simple. They need to apply pressure and force mistakes in the passing game while containing Henry as best they can. The Titans are still capable of getting hot, and the Raiders simply cannot afford that.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey