For the third season in a row the Raiders will play in Tennessee. The last two meetings, the Raiders have beaten the Titans on their own field. This season, they could prove to be a far more formidable opponent than the previous meetings.
The Titans have signed free agent wide receiver Eric Decker, days after he was jettisoned from New York as part of their cap purge.
The former Denver third round pick has long been one of the league’s most dangerous and dependable receivers. Prior to an injury shortened 2016 season, he had averaged nearly 1100 yards and double digit touchdowns over the previous four seasons with the Jets and Broncos.
Decker and the Raiders are quite familiar with each other. They have faced each other ten times in his seven NFL seasons. Eight of those came in his first four seasons in Denver. He then faced the Raiders in both of his full seasons with the Jets in 2014 and 2015. In the past eight meetings, Decker has caught 44 passes for 561 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Not only does Decker offer a great weapon for third year quarterback Marcus Mariota, but he joins a now very impressive looking offense.
They already had running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, tight end Delanie Walker, and wide receiver Richard Matthews. And this offseason they drafted wide receivers Corey Davis (5th overall) and Taywan Taylor (3rd round) and tight end Jonnu Smith (3rd round).
While the Titans are bulking up their already 11th ranked offense, the Raiders spent most of their draft — and each of their top three picks — trying to bulk up their 26th ranked defense in order stop opposing offenses which averaged over 375 yards per game against them last season.
That defense will get it’s first real test right out the gates this season against these Titans.