The Tennessee Titans entered the 2017 season with high expectations and a big challenge on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
The met neither of them in Sunday’s 26-16 loss at Nissan Stadium.
Oakland’s Derek Carr tested the Titans revamped secondary and put up 262 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Raiders to a win over the Titans in Nashville for the third straight year.
“It’s a gut check for sure. It just lets us know that we still have a long way to go. I don’t think we’re as far off as we were at the start of last year, but at the same time, we’re not as good as we think. We’ve got to keep going back to work and keep grinding and working hard,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said.
Tennessee was in the hole almost from the outset, as a surprise onside kick to start the game backfired and gave the Raiders a short field, who needed only four plays to go 50 yards with Carr hitting Amari Cooper, who bulled his way into the end zone. Titans players were excited about the onside kick call, but said it was just one of many plays that were not made in playing a part to help cost them the game.
More so than that, it as Tennessee’s inability to finish off drives with touchdowns that factored into the loss.
“We talk about ‘protecting the house’ and we didn’t do that today. It is disappointing,” tight end Delanie Walker said.
Other than answering Oakland’s opening march with a tying touchdown drive, a 12-play, 75-yard march that Marcus Mariota finished with a 10-yard TD scamper around left end, the Titans’ points came off the foot of kicker Ryan Succop on Sunday, and that was not good enough.