Photo credit: sfchronicle.com
By Joe Hawkes
OAKLAND — After losing back-to-back road games in which they were outscored 64-12 in both contests, the Raiders will look to get back into winning column as they host the visiting Tennessee Titans in Week 14 action at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Sunday’s game will mark the first of the final two home games this season, both of which are against AFC South opponents.
This will be the fourth time in the last five years that these two teams have met, the first matchup in Oakland since 2013. The Raiders currently own a three-game winning streak against the Titans, dating back to 2015. Oakland’s most recent victory over Tennessee, a 26-16 in Nashville in 2017, gave the Raiders a 26-20 edge in the all-time series.
The Raiders are 11-2 at home against the Titans all-time.
Kickoff for this matchup is set for 1:25 p.m. PT on CBS, with Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Melanie Collins on the call.
In Week 13, the Raiders were embarrassed again on the road, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 40-9, to drop their record to 6-6 on the season. Oakland lost to the New York Jets, 34-3, in East Rutherford, NJ in Week 12.
The Black and Silver lining in the loss to the Chiefs was rookie running back Josh Jacobs registering his fifth 100-yard game of the year, tying Mark van Eeghen for the fourth-most 100-yard rushing performances during a single season in franchise history. With his 104 rushing yards on 17 carries, Jacobs surpassed 1,000 yards for the season and became just the 11th player in franchise history to accomplish that feat.
Jacobs is the only rookie in franchise history to record a 1,000 yards in a single season with 1,061 yards through 12 games, good for fourth-most in the league.
Tight end Darren Waller was Oakland’s top receiving threat against Kansas City, hauling in 7 catches for 100 yards. For the season, Waller has been the Raiders best receiving option, leading the team in receptions (66) and receiving yards (807) through Week 13.
Waller is second on the team in receiving touchdowns (3) behind wide receiver Tyrell Williams.
Sunday’s game could have a playoff-type feel to it, as both teams desperately need to win keep pace for a wild card berth in the AFC playoffs. Oakland and Tennessee are currently behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) for the final berth with four games remaining in the season.
The Titans (7-5) are currently riding a three-game winning streak, and are coming off a huge 31-17 win on the road against their AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is 5-1 since taking over for an ineffective Marcus Mariota following Tennessee’s 2-4 start, has thrown for 1,602 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Tannehill has a passer rating of 113.9 in his six starts this season.
Tennessee’s running game is spearheaded by running back Derrick Henry.
He, like Jacobs, is a former Alabama running back that has turned into a vital piece for his team’s offense this season. There’s a good chance that both running backs will be representing their teams at the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.
The four-year pro is currently third in the NFL in rushing with 1,140 yards and is tied for second with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones with 11 rushing touchdowns among running backs.
Henry rumbled through Indianapolis, rushing for 149 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. During the Titans’ three-game winning streak, Henry has rushed for 496 yards and 5 touchdowns on 68 carries proving that he’s Tennessee’s workhorse.
Henry, who has been dealing with a hamstring issue, didn’t practice for the Titans on Wednesday.
Defensively, the Titans are the 7th-ranked scoring defense, yielding just 19.5 points per game this season and could pose a problem for the Raiders. Oakland is averaging just 19.8 points per game this season.
Second-year linebacker Harold Landry III registered one of Tennessee’s three sacks on Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Landry III leads the Titans with 9.0 sacks on the season.
Cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Kevin Byard are tied for the team lead with four interceptions apiece. Ryan and Byard each recorded an interception against the Colts.
Following Sunday’s matchup, the Raiders will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their final home game in Oakland in Week 15. The Titans will return home for a divisional matchup against the Houston Texans.