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Raiders vs Titans Week 3 matchup: 2 old friends battle it out in Tennessee

Former Patriots Josh McDaniels and Mike Vrabel square off as Las Vegas faces Tennessee

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

In one of the more dramatic meetings of the NFL Week 3 schedule, two 2021 AFC playoffs teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans, are squaring off in a battle of two teams that are unexpectedly 0-3.

It may be a stretch to say a Week 3 game is a must-win for any team, but we all now the stark reality of falling to 0-3 in this league. Only a handful have advanced to the postseason after starting 0-3 in league history. So, yes, both the Raiders and the Titans will be desperate on a rainy day in Nashville on Sunday.

As Josh McDaniels prepares the Raiders and Mike Vrabel readies the Titans this week for this crucial game, they do so knowing each other very well. They both, of course, are part of the Bill Belichick coaching tree.

McDaniels and Vrabel, the NFL Coach of the Year in 2021, were together in New England for eight seasons and won three Super Bowl rings together. McDaniels was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator most of that time and Vrabel was a standout linebacker. McDaniels did use Vrabel as a tight end often in the red zone, so they are very familiar with each other.

So, this connection adds another element to what already is a big week for both franchises.