The football season has officially begun. It is now only a couple days until the Tennessee Titans are set to make their Week 1 debut against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are one of the toughest opponents that the Titans will see during the regular season. Lucky enough, they get to play them at home.
I can see this game going in many different directions. There are many questions surrounding the Raiders as they begin their season. Firstly, Derek Carr went down with a nasty leg injury at the tail end of last season, leaving the team basically powerless. It will be interesting to see if he has regained full health, and is able to continue to play at the high level that he was. Secondly, Marshawn Lynch has returned to the NFL, and looks to have complete control of the running back position in Oakland. Will the year off affect the impact he is able to make on the game? Depending on how dominant these players are during the game, I would expect to see an offensive shootout in Tennessee this weekend.
I would expect big numbers to be put up from both passing games. Many key figures have been lost from both secondaries, and new faces are still trying to gain chemistry. The area that I give the Titans an advantage, which may decide how this game turns out, is the run game. Tennessee is entering the season with one of the top running back pairs in the league, DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry . Unleashing these two monsters against one of the worst run defenses in the league could create a problem for the Raiders.
While the Titans will be able to move the ball on the ground, I would not expect much from the Raiders. Even if Lynch is in great football conditions, he will be going up against one of the best run defenses in the game. The Titans gave up the second lowest rushing yards per game last year. If the Titans secondary is able to pull it together and keep Carr in-check, I see Tennessee being able to win this game. With a majority of the game being played through the air, I’m predicting a score of 31-21 with the Titans pulling out a win against a playoff team from a season ago.