Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders
Date and Time: Saturday, August 27, 2016, 8 p.m. ET
Location: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Week 3 Preseason NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Raiders -3.5, O/U 43.5
Titans vs. Raiders TV Coverage: CBS
There’s plenty of hype surrounding the Raiders again this season and rightfully so. General manager Reggie McKenzie has assembled a good cast of young talent and the team increased its win total from the previous season by four in 2015. But until the Raiders actually climb above the .500 mark, something they haven’t done since their Super Bowl season of 2002, it will just be a bunch of hype.
Tennessee held its own in last week’s loss to the Panthers, falling 26-16. But the bottom line is that Carolina is just a better team and proved as much to the Titans. In an attempt to change things up and get the Panthers defense on their heels, coach Mike Mularkey started running a no-huddle offense. The change worked, resulting in an 81-yard touchdown drive. The Titans scored against San Diego in the opener while operating out of the no-huddle as well.
While quarterback Marcus Mariota is comfortable in that scheme and the team has produced, it won’t be an every possession tactic. Instead, Mularkey will strategically employ the no-huddle as a change of pace to get opposing defenses out of their comfort zone.
Matchup To Watch
In need of some help along the offensive line, the Titans traded Dorial Green-Beckham, last year’s leading receiver in terms of yardage, to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Dennis Kelly. Tennessee’s second-round pick from a year ago, Green-Beckham frustrated the coaching staff with his inconsistent play and dropped passes, which also was a factor in the decision to trade the talented wideout. But the Titans were in desperate need of help on the line and with roster cuts still a week away, few linemen worthy of playing in the NFL were available on the street.
The deal helps out one area of the Titans offense but also hurts another. And taking away a talent like DGB from a relatively inexperienced group of receivers tells us a bit about the direction coach Mike Mularkey is looking to take his offense. Byron Bell, who played both guard and tackle last year, messed up his ankle during the offseason. Josue Matias was slated as a backup tackle but was shelved with a knee injury. The Titans made an effort to bolster the group signing center Ben Jones as a free agent and drafting tackle Jack Conklin with the eighth overall pick.
With their retooled backfield of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, plus the addition of Kelly and subtraction of DGB, it’s apparent the Titans are planning to be a run first team. That’s great if they can actually run the ball, and now the Titans are hurting in the pass-catching department. Veteran Andre Johnson is around, but Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe or Kendall Wright will have to emerge as a threat for Marcus Mariota.
Seeing as these teams will hook up in the third week of the regular season, I don’t anticipate anything but vanilla play-calling. For Tennessee, that will include plenty of run plays. With Oakland’s Khalil Mack looking in mid-season form, the overhauled Titans’ offensive line will get plenty of chances to work on creating a viable run game.
Titans vs. Raiders Free Picks
The Raiders play their first home game of 2016 and they are pegged at -3.5 on the opening line. Other than allowing a touchdown on Green Bay’s opening drive last week, Oakland looked solid defensively, but they didn’t get the Packers A team. Quarterback Derek Carr and the offense sputtered against a group that was without three starters. All in all it was a frustrating night for the Silver and Black.
Part of becoming a great team is the ability to recover and bounce back after a poor performance. We keep hearing that the Raiders are next in line, now is the time to prove that maybe they are. It won’t be a spectacular game, but Oakland being back home and looking to take that next step is enough for a cover on the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Titans vs. Raiders Week 3 Preseason ATS Pick: Raiders -3.5
Titans vs. Raiders Score Prediction: Raiders 23, Titans 15