It’s a tale of three teams — two of them being the Raiders — as Oakland heads into Nashville to take on the 1-1 Titans.
The Raiders are clicking on offense so far: 1st in total yards, 2nd in rushing yards, 3rd in points, and 6th in passing yards. But the defense is nothing short of a train wreck: dead last in total and passing yards, 31st in points allowed, and only 20th in run defense.
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey has taken some guff for his self-described “exotic smashmouth” offense, but the fact is that Mularkey has two very good running backs in DeMarco Murray and last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry.
Neither back has had a chance to put up significant numbers so far, but Murray has a 5.2 YPC average on his 25 carries so far, and Henry is a big, bruising runner who could do some damage if the Raiders’ front seven gets caught unaware.
Tight end Delanie Walker will probably be the biggest receiving threat, followed by 5th-round pick at WR Tajae Sharpe, who has 11 catches for 109 yards in his first two games.
The Titans are a middling team at best, with neither offense nor defense in the top 10 or even in the upper half of the league for the most part. But the Falcons and Saints are even worse, and the Raiders lost against one and barely beat the other. Until Oakland defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. gets the defensive unit whipped into shape, this is going to be a problem.