Let’s take a look at the NFL’s matchup between two up and coming teams that seem ready to become consistent playoff teams.
Titans’ Keys to the Game
Stopping Marshawn Lynch
The Titans defense was ranked second against the run at the end of last season and Linebacker Avery Williamson led the Titans with 149 tackles last year. If the Titans can contain the Raiders running game it will make life much more difficult for Raiders starting QB Derek Carr.
Jack Conlin vs. Khalil Mack
This battle of All-Pros will go a long way in deciding this game. Marcus Mariota is still an inexperienced NFL quarterback and keeping him clean in the pocket may be the biggest key to this entire game.
Rookie Adoree’ Jackson vs. Derek Carr
Jackson, even if he doesn’t start, will see significant playing time against the Raiders prolific passing game. Derek Carr will seek the rookie out and test him early and often.
Raiders’ Keys to the Game
Derek Carr’s ability to attack the Titans young corners
The Titans have two new corners in LeShaun Simms and, as talked about above, Adoree’ Jackson. The Raiders have to attack these two corners from the beginning of the game and keep it up. If they do, they should have success, which will lead to a long day for the Titans.
Marshawn Lynch needs to knock off the rust quickly
Lynch has not played in almost two years. The question will be, what does he have left? If he is his old self, the Raiders will win this game.
Raiders Defense against the Titans’ ground attack
The Titans have may be the best offensive line in the NFL and if the Raiders can’t slow the Titans down on the ground, they will be in a ton of trouble.
Prediction: This game will be a shootout between the Titans’ ground attack and Derek Carr’s aerial assault. No matter who wins this game, both teams will contend all year. For this match up, the Titans’ offensive line and ability to run the ball gives them an edge, but in the end Derek Carr vs. the Titans secondary will be too much to overcome for the Titans. Raiders 35 Titans 34