The 2010 Oakland Raiders opened the season in Tennessee facing the Titans today. Unfortunately, despite all the offseason positivity, the general consensus was that they looked a lot like the Raiders of old losing 38-13. The game of football is won and lost in the trenches and the Raiders offensive line left a lot to be desired if the Raiders are going to be winners of that battle this year.The bad play of the offensive line was the deciding factor despite a high score posted by the Tennessee Titans. The Raiders didn't even convert a single third down until their first drive of the second half. That's about the time the offensive line decided that they would help Jason Campbell out with a little bit of better protection.
On the flip side, the Raiders defense came out sharp against the run holding Chris Johnson to just 15 yards on 8 carries early on. But Johnson ended up breaking off a huge run at the midway point of the second quarter, going 76 yards for a touchdown to give the Titans a 17-6 lead. Johnson finished the game with 27 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns, however take away that one long run and the Raiders defense held Johnson to just 66 yards on 26 carries, an average of 2.5 yards per carry which is a vast improvement over their past run defenses efforts.
Titans' QB Vince Young was brilliant in the game throwing completions on 13 of his 17 pass attempts for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He was only sacked twice, including one early in the game by Kamerion Wimbley on which Young fumbled, leading to a 3-0 Raiders lead early on. Young also added seven carries for 30 yards on the ground and converted a couple of third downs with his legs.
The Titans defense put pressure on Jason Campbell for many of his drop-backs in the first half and ended up with four sacks, forced two fumbles, and a fourth quarter interception by the first-year Raiders' signal caller. You almost had to wonder if JaMarcus Russell was sitting on his couch at home watching and giggling to himself. Campbell finished the day 22 of 37 for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception that nearly went for a Titans touchdown.
Rookie center Jared Veldheer botched some snap exchanges sailing a shotgun snap over Campbell's head once, putting a shotgun snap into Campbell's feet once, and once snapping the ball prematurely forcing Campbell to just take a knee because he knew he wouldn't be protected if he continued the play. Starting left guard, Mario Henderson, also was the subject of heavy criticism early in this game giving up a sack and fumble that gave the Titans the ball at the Raiders 23-yard line. The initial call was the Titans had scooped and scored on the play, but after Cable threw a challenge flag out, the referee's ruled that the play was dead upon recovery of the fumble.
The Raiders wide receivers were absent today and the few times Campbell did get some time in the pocket, he had a hard time finding anyone to throw to. Ultimately, he ended up throwing a lot of check down passes. Louis Murphy ended up leading the group in receptions with four, but didn't even have a catch until the second half. Zach Miller also hauled in four catches, but he was also shut out in the first half of the game. It also didn't help that the Titans batted down four passes from Campbell while bringing him down for four sacks and a monstrous pile of QB hurries. Darrius Heyward-Bey finished with just one catch for 11 yards.
Darren McFadden actually ended up leading the team in catches with 6 for 55 yards and a touchdown. But it was on the ground that McFadden was most impressive with 18 carries for 95 yards. McFadden almost looked like the guy who he was at Arkansas in college. He was tough between the tackles and he was tough to tackle as well. While he didn't break any long gainers, he did make it look as though once Michael Bush (who was inactive today) gets back on the field the Raiders could have a nice tandem this year.
Nothing spectacular from the Raiders defense today, but they had a steady performance. It wasn't top ten material but in their defense (no pun intended) they didn't get any help on the offensive side of the ball. Tyvon Branch led the team in tackles with six solo and two assists, however he'll get credited for letting Chris Johnson break off his 76-yarder as Branch was playing close to the line of scrimmage and was shed by Johnson early in the play.
Rolando McClain showed up with four tackles and two assists, but he was all over the field and making his presence known from the opening snap today. He was probably the best defensive player on the field in the first half. DE/DT Richard Seymour also made some good plays early and often on the run defense and he finished with four tackles and one assist. Kamerion Wimbley had a sack/fumble (4 total tackles) and Matt Shaughnessy got himself his first sack of the year. Thomas Howard saw plenty of time on the field and he ended up getting a forced fumble as well.
Overall, the game seemed like it was closer than the final score indicated, but the Raiders have got to get help for their defense from the offensive side of the ball. Hopefully, the team can chalk it up to growing pains, learn from it and move on. Tennessee has a good team this year and there is no doubt in my mind that they could go deep into the playoffs. Better luck next week against a St. Louis Rams team that will be trying to get off to a good start against the Arizona Cardinals this afternoon.
|FG||06:17||Sebastian Janikowski 34 Yd||3||0|
|TD||04:39||Nate Washington 56 Yd Pass From Vince Young (Rob Bironas Kick)||3||7|
|FG||01:39||Rob Bironas 43 Yd||3||10|
|TD||03:45||Javon Ringer 15 Yd Run (Rob Bironas Kick)||3||17|
|TD||01:43||Chris Johnson 76 Yd Run (Rob Bironas Kick)||3||24|
|FG||00:16||Sebastian Janikowski 30 Yd||6||24|
|TD||01:47||Chris Johnson 4 Yd Run (Rob Bironas Kick)||6||31|
|TD||14:55||Bo Scaife 1 Yd Pass From Vince Young (Rob Bironas Kick)||6||38|
|TD||09:58||Darren McFadden 7 Yd Pass From Jason Campbell (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||13||38|
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-4||3-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
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