It's week 3 of the preseason and the Oakland Raiders started out this Nationally televised game against the Tennessee Titans by giving up an opening drive touchdown after just over 2 minutes of play. The DeMarco Murray touchdown run was set up by a play that had Sean Smith come within millimeters of an interception only to see Tajae Sharp of the Titans catch and run with the ball for a 61 yard play instead. The rough start for the Raiders put them down 7-0 in a hurry.
Much heralded Raiders rookie RB Jalen Richard didn't take long before making his presence known in his first NFL action as he returned the following kickoff 38 yards to the Raiders 42 yard line. The Raiders then wanted to show they could go deep too by completing a beautifully thrown 41 yard pass to WR Michael Crabtree down to the Titans 10 yard line. They then got their touchdown on a perfectly executed option route from another rookie RB DeAndre Washington to tie the score 7-7. Both the big reception by Crabtree and the touchdown came on 3rd down plays.
The Titans next drive looked like it was going to be stopped early with a strong pass rush from the Raiders but QB Marcus Mariota managed to buy just enough time to get a first down pass off despite being absolutely crushed by MLB Ben Heeney. They then went to veteran receiver Andre Johnson two more times in a row to get into field goal range before their offense finally ran out of steam in the red zone. They did successfully attempt a 34-yard field goal though to make the score 10-7 Titans.
Oakland failed to get a first down on their next drive after Derek Carr was sacked on 3rd and 8, so after that Marquette King kicked a booming 68 yard punt that the Titans returned 13 yards to the Tennessee 29. To put that in perspective, a 55 yard punt is a solid punt and that was the net yard difference after the Titans returned the 68 yard punt 13 yards. Impressive.
Too bad the Raiders defense wasn't as impressive as once again they couldn't stop the Titans offense from getting more points. Tennessee went 9 plays and 59 yards before finally being stopped by the Raiders defense deep in Raiders territory. They once again managed to convert the chip shot 30 yard field goal and made the score 13-7. They are leading the Raiders in most statistics at this point including yards 210 to 53 and time of possession 10:23 to 5:57.
Oakland set to work evening out those yard stats on the very next drive though, they went 75 yards in 6 plays to take the lead 14-13 after a 38 yard Amari Cooper touchdown reception. The Raiders offensive line picked up a Titans blitz well on the play and then Derek Carr threw a perfect pass to a diving Cooper for the touchdown. The play was reviewed and stood as called despite Amari Cooper slightly bobbling the ball out of bounds after making the diving catch. There was another big play on the drive besides the long touchdown, it was a 30 yard run by DeAndre Washington that helped set up the deep ball 2 plays later.
Once again though, the Titans offense was dominating the Raiders defense. Specifically, they were running all over them and this time it was with their rookie RB, Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. He had 9 rushes for 36 yards and an 8 yard reception on the drive for the Titans. Oh yeah, and one of those rushes was a 3 yard touchdown run that made the score 20-14 Tennessee just after the 2 minute warning.
The Raiders got the ball back with 1:52 left on the clock until halftime, which is perfect for preseason because it's great practice to be able to run their 2 minute drill offense. They ran the drill extremely well until Derek Carr missed an unbelievably wide open Clive Walford on 3rd and 2 deep in the Titans red zone. Being preseason the Raiders went for it on 4th down but Derek Carr tossed the ball far overhead and out of bounds of anybody after the play failed to provide a target for him.
The Titans kneeled the clock out for the final 6 seconds of the half so the teams went into the locker room with the Titans up 20-14 at halftime. The game so far has been an exciting shootout with both offenses playing well, and the score would have been 20-17 in the regular season because the Raiders surely would have kicked the chip shot field goal at the end of the half if it wasn't a preseason game.