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Graphic Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

FSM Essential Recap: Raiders at Titans – Week 3

Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) | Tennessee Titans (1-2)

Franchise Sports Media

 

In another gutsy effort, the Raiders fell late to the Titans as LV’s record drops to 0-3. Despite more than 150 receiving yards from WR Mack Hollins, the Raiders’ offense failed to convert a 2-pt try with the game on the line.

 

Raiders vs Titans
Photo Credit: Mark Zaleski/AP

With Raider Nation in a state of mild flux, the Silver & Black embarked on the land of hot chicken and country music. Awaiting were the Tennessee Titans, who, like the Raiders, were another AFC-playoff team from a year ago still looking to net the season’s first win.

Before game day, I highlighted a few keys to victory for Las Vegas and Tennessee. Given each side’s current standing in their respective divisions, the Raiders are already playing with their backs against the wall. Entering Sunday, I had an eye on the offense’s 4Q production and the D’s execution in gang-tackling RB Derrick Henry.

Also, given the familiarity between head coaches (Vrabel was a defensive starter for New England during McDaniels’ first three years as OC), there was anticipation surrounding how the Titans’ defensive front would pressure QB Derek Carr, especially with Vegas still looking for solidification in pass protection.

On Saturday, starters WR Hunter Renfrow (concussion) and LB Denzel Perryman (ankle) were officially ruled out. At the same time, the door was left open for other starters to return to play, including DT Bilal Nichols, C Andre Miller, and S Tre’von Moehrig* (the latter of which practiced only on Friday). Of course, due to an undisclosed illness, RB Josh Jacobs was forced to fly solo to Nashville, arriving a day after the rest of the team.

For a quarter-by-quarter comprehensive recap of the Raiders’ Week 3 clash with Tennessee, see below.


Previous contests

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24-Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)

 

1st Quarter

 

Raiders vs Titans
Photo Credit: Mark Zaleski/AP

The Silver & Black would kick-off to begin the action in their Week 3 bout with the Titans. The first couple of plays from scrimmage showcased energetic stops from Crosby and Abram, but Tennessee’s offense caught fire from there. After Tannehill found TE Austin Hooper over the middle to move the chains, the box cleared up a bit for the Titans’ ground game. Runs from Derrick Henry took Tennessee to the edge of the red zone before WR Robert Woods caught a slot post well inside the LV 10-yard line. Next, with all eyes on King Henry, Tannehill dumped the ball in the right flat for tight end Geoff Swaim to catch and score. Touchdown Titans; It’s 7-0 TEN.

Carr and the offense opened things up by going right to Adams over the middle. The drive was given an early boost from a 36-yard defensive pass interference penalty on a PA pass intended for Keelan Cole. Next, Mack Hollins provided a significant 20-yard reception on 3rd down to move the chains. The Raiders eventually took the ball inside the Titans’ 5-yard line but stalled when a pass from Carr landed between both Adams and Darren Waller. At the moment, it appeared someone had run the wrong route. In any case, Carlson salvaged the possession into three points, converting a 21-yard field goal. After two very long drives (and most of the first quarter), Tennessee is up 7-3.

To close out the first quarter, the Titans returned to Henry with a combination of runs and passes. After moving the chains, Tannehill drew in the Raiders’ defense with a well-carried-out play-action, finding Woods for a 42-yard catch-and-run.

 

2nd Quarter

 

Raiders vs Titans
Photo Credit: Silas Walker/Getty Images

After the field swap, Tannehill fired a slant pass to WR Treyon Burks that took the ball down to the 1-yard line. Then, on the second play of the second quarter, Henry took a dive up the middle for Tennessee’s second touchdown. Simple and straightforward, the Titans extended their lead to 14-3.

This time, the Raiders’ offense would be able to punch back. Carr returned to the field by delivering a 22-yard dart to Foster Moreau. As an encore, Moreau picked up the next first down, this one on a 14-yard fade stop (doing a masterful job of toe-dragging the sideline). Las Vegas would then try a little trickeration, attempting halfback toss-throwback going from Carr to Jacobs, back to Carr, then upfield to Adams for an 18-yard first down. Jacobs chipped in by rushing the ball inside the TEN 5-yard line, which allowed Carr to then find Adams on a stick-n-nod in the back of the end zone. It was a great pass from DC4 but a better catch, as Adams secured the ball to his body through fighting hands from his defender. The Silver & Black make it a one-score game, down 14-10.

Unfortunately for Raider Nation, the following drive from Tennessee featured Henry going into workhorse mode. Again, the Titans would feed their star running back through both handoffs and passes, snapping off a gain as long as 24 yards. Woods also had another nice catch along the sideline to keep Tennessee ahead of the sticks. Back on the Raiders’ 1-yard line in a hurry, Tannehill dialed his own number and snuck it right behind center for the Titans’ third touchdown in as many drives: 21-10 TEN.

With 4:55 left in the first half, we finally saw a punt. The two sides exchanged punts before Tennessee eventually got the ball into field goal range. As the 2Q clock expired, Titans’ K Randy Bullock drilled through a 48-yard FG. Heading into the locker room, the Titans have largely controlled this contest and lead 24-10.

 

3rd Quarter

 

Raiders vs Titans
Photo Credit: Raiders Wire

Starting the second half with the football, the Raiders would immediately produce a scoring drive. The possession began with a run emphasis, feeding both Jacobs and Brandon Bolden. Eventually faced with a 4th down near midfield, Carr extended the drive by hitting Hollins on an out route to move the chains. It looked like the Raiders were headed for the end zone, but after a false start penalty on LT Kolton Miller, Vegas would settle for a field goal. This time, Carlson is good from 32 yards out, moving the score to 24-13, Titans.

Tennessee’s next offensive possession would be short-lived. After incurring a penalty for too many men in the huddle, Tannehill attempted a pass deep down the left sideline that was picked off by S Duron Harmon. However, unfortunately for the Raiders, Las Vegas could not take advantage of the takeaway, immediately following with an offensive three-and-out.

From there, the Titans appeared to regain their steam momentarily. RB Dontrell Hilliard took a check-down pass from Tannehill for a 29-yard gain before Henry added a couple more positive runs. Then, the 3Q clock expired.

 

4th Quarter

 

Raiders vs Titans
Photo Credit: Mark Zaleski/AP

Continuing their possession, Tennessee was eventually presented with a 4th-and-short from midfield. Electing to go for it, the Titans nearly converted, if not for a dropped pass from WR Treylon Burks. Just like that, the ball is back with the Raiders.

With a sense of urgency, Carr marched Las Vegas’ offense back out and found his tight ends (Moreau & Waller) for consecutive 1st downs. Thanks to an unnecessary roughness penalty by Tennessee on the latter reception, the Raiders had the ball down inside the red zone. However, Las Vegas would spoil the drive as Carr’s next pass bounced off Waller’s hands and right to Titans’ safety Kevin Byard for an interception.

With the game looking all but over, the Silver & Black would continue to fight. Backs against the wall, the defense smothered Tennessee’s offense into a quick punt. With 6:15 left in regulation, the Raiders’ offense essentially morphed into the “Mack Hollins Show.” Hollins added a 60-yard reception to keep the game alive (although 15 yards of it were taken back following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Alex Bars). WR Keelan Cole then added a nice catch before the drive stalled. Of course, Carlson would hold up his end of the bargain, kicking through a 35-yard FG to bring the score to 24-16.

In their final offensive drive of the game, the Titans took 32 seconds of game clock to go three-and-out (rendering Tennessee scoreless for the entire second half). What followed next was the most entertaining drive of the day.

With less than three minutes to play, the Raiders got their offense moving by utilizing a 13-yard catch and run from Jacobs. Las Vegas would then stall before being faced with a 4th-and-10. To make matters worse, the offense could not snap the next play before suffering a delay of game penalty. Now dealing with a 4th-and-15, Carr tossed a rainbow down the right sideline and into the basket of Hollins for a miraculous 48-yard reception to keep the game alive. A QB-keeper from Carr would pick up the next 1st down for Las Vegas, but the Raiders would eventually face another 4th down, this time from the TEN 14-yard line.

Carr’s next pass would miss the intended target of Darren Waller, but a defensive holding penalty on Tennessee would give the Raiders new life. With a fresh set of downs from inside the Titans’ 10-yard line, Carr would miss his next three passes, bringing up another 4th down. Again, with the game on the line, Carr floated a pass to Hollins, who used his size and strength to come down with the touchdown reception! In a flash, the game will all come down to a 2-pt conversion: Deja vu, anyone?

In somewhat of an anticlimactic finish, Carr went quick over the middle to Waller in traffic, who was only able to get a single hand on the ball as it fell to the ground, rendering it incomplete. With the score 24-22 Tennessee, the Raiders would try an onside kick to no avail, effectively ending the game and leaving Las Vegas as the last remaining 0-3 team on the 2022 NFL campaign.

 

Takeaways

 

Las Vegas needs to find a way to sustain its efforts. Despite being 0-3, the Raiders have had legitimate chances to win every contest they have played this season. There have been times when the offense has looked good and the defense poor and vice versa. Basically, the Raiders need to employ complementary football better. Once this team can start humming on all cylinders, we’ll see the Ws start piling up.

Chandler Jones needs to start showing up in the stat sheet. Of course, given Jones’ position on the D-line, there is plenty he can do to help this team that won’t show up in the box score, but the Raiders don’t appear to be getting that. Jones is still looking for his first sack as a member of the Raiders. Given that Las Vegas has only produced two sacks as a team this season (both by Crosby), an upcoming onslaught from Jones would be greatly appreciated by Raider Nation.

Mack Hollins is outstanding in traffic. Sure, in an offense with Adams and Waller, a player of Hollins size and skills will likely reap the benefits. With a frame of 6’3″, 220lbs, Hollins excels at grabbing passes above smaller DBs. Additionally, Hollins’ proficiency running the dig route can no longer be ignored; It seems like it’s a free 20 yards every time he’s against man coverage. As more teams begin to take notice of Hollins (and believe you me; They will), Adams, Waller, and Renfrow will play the benefactors.

 

The Raiders will return home to face the rival-Denver Broncos for Las Vegas’ second divisional game of the season, which will take place Oct. 2 at Allegiant Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 PM PST and can be seen locally on Fox 5 (radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).

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Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Instagram & Twitter: @gps_onthemic

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Gabriel Santiago

Hailing from the Golden State of California, Gabriel Santiago grew up in the Bay Area competing in myriad athletics before graduating from UC San Diego. Previously affiliated with KNBR in San Francisco and Wynn Sports Interactive in Las Vegas, Gabriel also calls play-by-play for UNLV Athletics.

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