NFLRaiders

Raiders playoff hopes fade to a flicker after home loss to Titans

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Raiders playoff hopes dimmed to near darkness Sunday afternoon, as Oakland fell to the Titans 42-21 in the second last home game at the Coliseum.

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QB Ryan Tannehill had a huge day as he passed 391 yards with huge chunk yards and moved the Titans into a tie for first with the Texans, while Oakland keeps falling in the standings.

Titans DB Tye Smith punched the ball out from Darren Waller and was recovered and picked up by LB Jayon Smith that put the nail in the coffin on the scoreboard, and maybe for Oakland’s season.

Oakland (6-7) is tied for eighth in the AFC has the same record as Cleveland and Indianapolis. They’re behind by Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Houston, all at 8-5.

Maurice Hurst came up with a tip drill interception which set up a DeAndre Washington touchdown to give Oakland a strong start to the game.

Derrick Henry is the focal point of Tennessee’s offense. The big back had 10 carries for 50 yards and a score in the first quarter alone.

Henry was hobbled with a hamstring tweak that still did not stop him from a big game (18 carries, 103 yards and two touchdowns).

Tennessee controlled the stats in the first quarter, but the costly turnover kept the scoreboard at 7-7.

Oakland’s all-time leading rookie rusher Josh Jacobs was out for the first time in his career with a shoulder injury. Jacobs leads all rookies in rushing yards and touchdowns.

As a unit, Oakland rushed for under 100 yards. Jacobs alone averages 88 yards per game, and even without him, Oakland’s identity is a run first team. Washington and Jalen Richard combined for 81 yards Sunday.

In the second quarter, Tannehill stood tough in the pocket, took a hit and deep shot to find A.J. Brown for 91 yards and the Titans had scored 14 unanswered points.

Derek Carr and the struggling Raiders offense had to respond. Carr found newly-signed rookie Rico Gafford fromWyoming on a busted coverage for a 49-yard touchdown to tie the game 14-14.

The 14 points in the half are more than the Raiders have scored in the previous two games combined (12).

Tannehill looked sharp through two quarters. He found the 220-pound rookie Brown again on a slant route for a 16-yard touchdown to put up the Titans 21-14.

On the goal line, the Raiders scored as Foster Moreau was all alone in the back of the end zone to give Carr his second touchdown of the day. This game was turning into a shootout.

With 24 seconds left in the half, all the Raiders defense had to do was not allow huge chunk yards, but that was exactly what Oakland allowed. However, lucky for them, Tennessee has struggled with their kicking all season long.

Ryan Succop missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt as time expired that would have given the Titans the lead. Tennessee only made 50 percent of their kicks this year.

Oakland has scored 20 points in the third quarter this season, which is last in the league. After one punt in the first half, Oakland punted the ball three times in the third quarter.

Carr had another pedestrian game. He was visibly frustrated with his receivers who only came up with eight catches total.

Carr finished 25-for-39 for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carr has not had a 300-yard pass game this season.

On a three-game losing streak, Oakland’s playoff hopes become dim. Mathematically alive, Oakland failed to take advantage of an easy schedule down the stretch.

A Kansas City win in New England would give the division crown to the Chiefs for the fourth year in a row.

Oakland looks to keep their season alive as they host the Jaguars next Sunday in their last game in Oakland ever.

Alex Navarro

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