This one lived up to the shootout it was expected to be early. Both teams drove for touchdowns on their opening drives and scored on all but one of their first half drives.
Marshawn Lynch got the first carry of the game and he took it for 14 yards. Then it was Derek Carr to Jared Cook for 22 yards to set the Raiders up in first and goal at the 8-yard-line. The next play Carr threw for Amari Cooper over the middle, where Cooper spun out of a tackle and fought his way through the final five yards and across the goal line.
Down 7 early, the Titans would answer in kind. Starting at their own 25, Marcus Mariota orchestrated a 75-yard touchdown drive. Along the way, the Titans converted three third and long plays. The first two went to Rishard Mathews and the final to rookie fifth overall pick Corey Davis who made a spectacular leaping grab along the right sideline with David Amerson in tight coverage.
That catch by Davis put the Titans in first and goal from the 10-yard-line where Mariota took the ball, tucked it and ran it out left for an easy touchdown to tie it back up.
From there, both teams would drive for scores, but be kept out of the end zone.
Carr would lead the Raiders down the field on the next drive, including a pass to Michael Crabtree in which he laid a stiff arm on his defender to pick up 25 yards. That put the Raiders at the 12-yard line. A couple Lynch runs and the Raiders were in fourth and one and chose to go for it at the 3-yard-line. Lynch got the ball again, eluding a defender in the backfield to fight for the first and goal.
From there, Carr went for Amari Cooper on three straight passes with rookie Adoree Jackson in coverage. And the result was three incompletions. The first was a high pass on a quick slant, the second a pass defended by Jackson, the third was tipped at the line.
Giorgio Tavecchio entered the game for his first NFL field goal attempt and hits the chip shot to give the Raiders the 10-7 lead.
Both teams’ defense decided to show up to begin the second quarter, forcing punts. The Raiders drive was stalled with two uncharacteristic sacks given up on Carr in a row. In both cases, Vadal Alexander was in at right tackle gave up pressure, the second time he was charged with giving up the sack.
Marquette King’s punt to follow was a beauty that died at the 2-yard-line.
It didn’t stop the Titans. They drove right down the field and were in first and goal at the 8-yard line, converting two more third downs along the way. The Raiders defense stiffened to hold them to a field goal and a 10-10 tie.
The Raiders offense wasn’t done though. The took the ball with :43 seconds and drove into scoring range. A couple completions to Crabtree got things started and a 5-yard completion to Jared Cook put them in range of a 52-yard field goal try. Tavecchio came out to attempt his second ever field goal. It was a long one and he absolutely nailed it. Right down the middle with plenty to spare to send the Raiders into the locker room up 13-10.
Both teams came up with stops to begin the third quarter. For the Raiders, it was Khalil Mack with two run stuffs for losses. The Raiders even managed to sack Mariota.
The Raiders went on another drive, but a Rodney Hudson illegal hands to the face would bring back a big play on a big Amari Cooper first down catch. In range of a 57-yard field goal, the Raiders would opt for King to punt. But after a running into the kicker penalty, they would send Tavecchio back out for his second 52-yard field goal attempt. And he nailed it AGAIN to give the Raiders a 16-10 lead.
Just as you might expect, the Titans answered with a scoring drive of their own. A stuff by rookie Nicholas Morrow for a loss on third and 2 would force them to settle for a field goal for a 16-13 game to begin the fourth quarter.
The Raiders would extend the lead on the ensuing drive, this time getting back into the end zone. The new additions got it started, with Cook catching an 11-yard pass and Lynch running for 12 yards and it ended with plays by the old standards on an 18-yard pass to Crabtree and a 19-yard touchdown to Seth Roberts to take a 23-13 lead.
As you might expect, this was a one-score game late with the Titans driving for a field goal to bring it to 23-16 with under five minutes remaining.
All the Raiders would need to do was drive for a score to put the game away. And they did just that.
Taking three and a half minutes off the clock, the drove into field goal range. The biggest play saw Marshawn Lynch truck 5-1, 305-pound Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey for a 6-yard gain (see that play here). That play set up a 43-yard field goal and Giorgio Tavecchio came out to make it 4 for 4 on the day and he nailed it again to put the stamp on the victory.
Tavecchio had two 52-yarder’s in the game, so it was poetic that Titan’s kicker Ryan Succop had the chance to put the game within a score in the final second with his second 52-yard attempt. That attempt sailed wide right and the Raiders kneeled it out for the win.
Marshawn Lynch led all rushers with 76 yards on 18 carries (4.2 ypc). Michael Crabtree led all receivers with six catches for 83 yards. Derek Carr was the leading passer going 22 for 32 for 262 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.