Home > Game Tape, NFL > Tale of the Tape: NFL Week 1 – Raiders at Titans

Tale of the Tape: NFL Week 1 – Raiders at Titans

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A LiveBall Sports Game Tape Review

  • The Raiders defense came out with the mindset of stopping Chris Johnson on the ground, and were pretty much successful at it.  This was not a strong game for CJ28.
  • Raiders were a mixed bag in defending the option.  Titans ran option out of misdirection looks.  Raiders were disciplined enough not to leave the pitch man Johnson undefended, but the Titans blocked it well.
  • This was not a great game for the Titans OL.  LT Michael Roos gave up a bad sack to Kamerion Wimbley, resulting in a Vince Young fumble recovered by Richard Seymour.
  • Titans TE Craig Stevens is a weapon in the formation diverse Titans offense.  He’s one of the three best blocking TEs in all of football and really blew up the Raiders run defense on many plays.  Without him, the Raiders would have dominanted the trenches on the defensive side.
  • Jason Campbell didn’t have a good game from a mental perspective, but he sees a lot more of the field (particularly pre-snap) when in the shotgun.  This is not a trend first noticed in this game with Campbell.
  • The Raiders like to put their quarterback under center, run play action, and throw down the field.  They were able to create some seams in the defense by doing this, but protection on Campbell was terrible.
  • The Titans were not buying play fakes made by Campbell in this game.  I’ve seen it written in local papers after the game that the Titans thought they had a key on Jason Campbell giving away the play pre-snap.  The evidence doesn’t back these claims.  The Titans had great success anticipating play action, but they also lost a bunch of gambles when the Raiders pulled linemen and ran Darren McFadden behind them.
  • Johnson had a couple of 8-10 yard runs, but if he doesn’t break the 76 yarder in the second quarter, Johnson averages about 3.0 yards per carry in this game.  Keep that in mind as we go forward for both the Raiders.  Johnson carried 27 times.  About 21 of those were unsuccessful carries.
  • The Raiders defense was beaten, but it wasn’t by Johnson.  The Raiders had little defense for Vince Young’s passing.  Excellent route combinations by the Titans took a run-obsessed defense by the Raiders, and made them pay with long plays to Nate Washington.  A great game for Washington.
  • SS Tyvon Branch was the goat on two long TDs by the Titans.  First time, he took the bait on run action, and didn’t cover his zone against the pass.  The second  time, he came flying up unblocked and missed Chris Johnson in the hole, springing Johnson for the last 70 yards of his 76 yard run.  Replay that play ten times, and Branch isn’t going to get Johnson even once with that effort.
  • Safety play is a major issue for the Raiders.  I thought corners Asomugha (of course) and Routt played well enough to win this game.  Michael Huff doesn’t do any one thing particularly well at free safety.  Branch, at least this Sunday, was a major liability.
  • You can see how great of a player Rolando McClain is going to be in this league, but he made a lot of misreads in this game, against the run.  He’s not very instinctive against the pass in general.
  • I was impressed by the play of Richard Seymour on the DL, and by Quentin Groves at LB for the Raiders.  No players did more to bottle up Johnson in the game than those two.
  • Javon Ringer is an excellent no. 2 back for the Titans.  He’s decisive and explosive and runs with great vision.
  • This Titans offense is not a flash in the pan.  Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger has been designing this offense for Young over many years, and the concepts used in it are dissimilar to any professional offense I’ve seen before.  This team could lose Chris Johnson and still be dangerous.  With him, they are unstoppable.
  • The game was won by the dominance of the Titans defensive line.  Campbell was too slow with his reads from the pocket, and the Raiders’ max protect gameplan played into the Titans hands, but those are minor deficiencies compared to the whipping of all five Raiders lineman by the Titans defensive front.  Jason Jones and Jacob Ford are monsters and Tony Brown isn’t even healthy yet.  Derrick Morgan badly beat Cooper Carlisle for a first quarter sack.

The Titans are a very, very good football team, perhaps the best in the AFC (if not the NFL).  The Raiders may or may not be as bad as they were on this day.  They’ll need a passing offense to be successful, so we’ll re-visit them after they play the Rams, who aren’t capable of doing to them what the Titans did.

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