First off, I'd like to say that I was disappointed by the Vikings performance against the Saints. Favre and the receivers could not connect and their d-line seemed to be outmatched which surprised me.
This game will probably come down to two things. First, will the Raiders be able to slow down the Titans run game. Second, will Jason Campbell be able to air it out effectively.
Both teams are going to come out trying to run the ball, typically these two teams are among the best in total rushing yards.
While the Raiders are decent in pass defense, due to Nnamdi Asomugha being able to shut down half the field, their front seven was a weak point last year. The Raiders have since stockpiled defensive talent over the offseason.
They drafted Rolando McClain, a solid tackler at MLB and Lamarr Houston who could prove to be a great run stuffer at defensive end. They also went ahead and picked up Kamerion Wimbley who has the ability to get into opponents backfields and back off into coverage.
With all this new talent, the Raiders are able to line up in many different defensive formations and cause lots of confusion for the opposition.
However, will they be able to slow down the Titans because the last thing they want to do is get into a scoring battle with a team who has one of the leagues most dangerous players in Chris Johnson.
The Raiders don't need to beat Chris Johnson, as long as they can just slow him down they stand a chance. What they need to do is find a way to defend the gaps, but still contain Vince Young.
The one thing in the Raiders favor is the diversity of their defense—they have a plethora of players with different talents that could be used in a unique way to jar up the NFL's fastest player.
Enough about the Raiders, what about the Titans defense because the Raiders can put up some points. The Titans defense seems to be solid after a year when they fell to one of the worst defenses in the league.
Their defense is rebuilding, but unlike last year they should be able to account for any weak spots. The one area the Raiders are going to want to attack is the Titans second corner, who will most likely be Jason McCourty.
The Raiders will most likely be able to pound the rock with Michael Bush and then bring McFadden in due to his big play ability. This is all good but the Raiders are going to need to pass the ball if they want to win.
Now, Jason Campbell was brought in for one reason and that was to assist the pass game.
While in Washington, Campbell might not have been the most liked QB, but he was good and was able to put up some impressive numbers. The only question is, will the Raiders receivers allow Campbell to make plays down the field.
The Raiders might not have a guy like Andre Johnson, but they do have several young wideouts who have exceptional speed and if they can find openings they could become a deadly combination.
With that said, I like the progress that the Raiders have made, but I don't see them pulling off a win.
As long as VY and CJ are on the field together, the Titans offense will be hard to stop and I just don't see the Raiders being able to withstand it well enough for their offense to win the game.
In my opinion, the team whose defense can make the most stops will win in the end.
Prediction: Titans 28 Raiders 20
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