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Week 1 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 26, Tennessee Titans 16


What you need to know

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders offense was outstanding. Carr missed a couple throws high, but made up for it with some elite throws into tight windows that only a few quarterbacks in the league can hit as consistently as Carr does. Amari Cooper received a bunch of targets, including four inside the 10-yard line. His solid fantasy day was close to being a lot better. The unspectacular numbers for Marshawn Lynch don’t tell the full story. He looked fantastic and could dominate in more favorable matchups.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans ran an uncharacteristically pass-heavy offense with 41 pass attempts to only 21 rushes in the loss to the Raiders. Marcus Mariota made some great plays and sustained long drives, but was inefficient in the red zone outside of a 10-yard rushing touchdown. Demarco Murray found little room to run, while Delanie Walker led the stat sheet amongst a crowded list of receivers with four players receiving eight or more targets.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 262 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0
Carr was excellent and fully in control of the offense. He showed off his elite arm strength and accuracy on some difficult throws. He did sail a few easier throws, but overall was very good. It took the Raiders all of four plays (and two minutes) to go 50 yards and score their first touchdown of the season after the Titans attempted an onside kick to open the game. Carr completed all three of his passes for 36 yards on the opening drive, capped off by an 8-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. Cooper caught a short slant and did all of the heavy lifting in getting the ball into the end zone. The Carr-Cooper had some highlights, but also misfired quite a bit. Carr threw it over Cooper’s head on three different plays over the course of the game. The duo was also unable to hook up on three straight attempts from the 2-yard line. Carrying over a theme from last season, Carr was again masterful running the hurry-up offense. He drove the team 41 yards in 43 seconds for a field goal before half time. Carr’s best throw of the day was a bullet placed perfectly in between three defenders for a 19-yard touchdown to Seth Roberts. He even looked off the safety before firing off the perfect pass.

RB Marshawn Lynch, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 76 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (2 targets)
Lynch looked fantastic in his Raiders debut. The explosiveness, power and quick feet that made him special in his prime were all present. Lynch took his first regular-season carry for Oakland 14 yards straight up the middle. Late in the first quarter, he showed definitively that he can still go into beast mode. On a 4th-and-1 carry inside the 5-yard line, he should have been stuffed for a loss. But he side-stepped the first tackler and then somehow powered forward for two extra yards when a second defender had him dead to rights in the backfield. One of the biggest differences between the 2017 Raiders and the 2016 team is having a back with the ability to make a play entirely on his own in short yardage. For some reason, the Raiders didn’t reward Lynch for the effort and threw the ball unsuccessfully three straight times from the 2-yard line before settling for a field goal. Lynch made things happen when he was able to touch the ball with some space to run. He took a screen pass for 16 yards down the right sideline, patiently setting up his blocks and then finishing the run strong for a couple extra yards. He lined up as a wide receiver on the next play and was open, but Carr airmailed the pass after the quick snap. Lynch ran hard in the second half and helped the Raiders bleed the clock and hang on for the win.

RB Jalen Richard, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 22 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)
Richard was the third back in, but split snaps and touches pretty evenly with Washington. Richard had more success as a runner than Washington on a very small sample size against the Titans. But as long as Lynch is dominating the carries and Richard and Washington are sharing the backup job, neither has any fantasy value. Richard’s best play of the day came on a 3rd down reception over the middle. He got to the sticks and went low to snag the ball and held on despite a big hit.

RB DeAndre Washington, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets)
Washington was the first back off the bench and took over for the third drive. After a few snaps, he gave way to Jalen Richard. Any hope that Washington had created some separation and earned the role of primary backup to Lynch was quickly dashed however. Richard rotated in after a few snaps and the touches were again split evenly between the pair. As long as the two are splitting touches, neither will have any fantasy value. Washington’s biggest play came in the two-minute offense before halftime. He faked like he was going to pick up the blitzes then pirouetted and slipped out to catch a screen pass, turned up field and picked up 13 yards.

WR Michael Crabtree, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 83 - 0 (7 targets)
Crabtree had a strong day, showing a knack for making contested catches and an ability to make plays after the catch. Hisfirst catch of the season came back when he was whistled for offensive pass interference. There’s a fine line between savvy veteran hand play to create separation and pushing off that Crabtree often skirts. He made up for the mistake two plays later by drawing a 24-yard defensive pass interference call to keep the chains moving on 3rd-and-16. He looked spry after catching a short slant, shaking a tackle and accelerating upfield for a 25-yard gain into the red zone. Crabtree had a 17-yard contested catch down the right sideline later in the first half. He came close to drawing another offensive pass interference call on himself, but the referee held the flag. Crabtree was the go-to guy in the hurry up offense and made a pair of nice plays along the sideline to help get the Raiders into field goal range before halftime.

WR Amari Cooper, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 1 (13 targets)
There were some positive signs in Week 1 that Cooper could have the breakout season many expected, but also some signs that Cooper still has a ways to go to be a true lead receiver. On the positive side, he was the target of a whopping 41% of Carr’s passes on the day and almost doubled (13 to 7) Michael Crabtree’s targets (and had another target wiped out by penalty). The negative was that Cooper still didn’t make the plays in the red zone that are expected from an elite receiver. Cooper started the 2017 season off with an impressive 8-yard touchdown in the first two minutes of the game. He caught a short slant at the 6-yard line, spun through an attempted tackle to somehow keep his feet and push forward. He was stood up at the 2-yard line, but his offensive line rushed in to push him across the goal line as he kept his feet churning. The second drive of the game, Cooper’s inexplicable red zone troubles reared their ugly head again. Carr and Cooper couldn’t connect on three straight attempts from the Titans 2-yard line. First, Carr fired a quick slant that bounced off Cooper’s hands. Cooper had his man beat but the throw was a little high and he wasn’t able to bring it in. The very next play, Carr again went to Cooper in the end zone. This time on a fade route that was batted away at the last second by the corner. Cooper had a shot at the difficult contested catch but couldn’t make the play. On the third play, Cooper was open in the back of the end zone but the ball was tipped by a linebacker and Cooper wasn’t able to adjust quickly enough to go down and make the catch. Instead of a big-time fantasy day, Cooper was merely solid due to not making the most of his opportunities to score. The very next drive, Carr went right back to Cooper on his first throw. Cooper caught the short pass, made two guys miss and weaved his way ahead for a 12-yard gain. Cooper had a 14-yard catch called back due to a penalty on the offensive line. Overall, it was a good day for Cooper. But there were some troubling signs that, despite the early touchdown, the frustrating lack of red zone success could remain an issue.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets)
The Raiders were creative in getting Patterson a couple early touches. He rushed for five yards on an end around, showing his power by running through the first tackle attempt. Deep in the red zone, Patterson lined up in the backfield as a running back next to Carr and caught a short swing pass. He managed just two yards as the corner made a nice open field tackle. He didn’t have a touch or target after the first quarter.

WR Seth Roberts, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 19 - 1 (1 targets)
Roberts is going to see less targets with the arrivals of Cordarrelle Patterson and Jared Cook. However, he looks like he’ll remain a red zone favorite for Carr. His only catch of the day was a 19-yard touchdown where he ran past the slot corner and Carr rifled it in before the safety could get over.

TE Jared Cook, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 56 - 0 (5 targets)
Cook looks to be the clear third target in the Raiders passing game. He was outstanding in his Oakland debut. Cook showed the wide receiver-like skills on his first two catches, easily separating from overmatched linebackers. His third catch was over the middle against tight coverage and Cook showed the hand strength to hold on and pull the ball in while a defender tried to knock it from his grasp. Cook’s fourth catch came on a short crossing route as the clock ticked down in the first half and put the Raiders into field goal range. If he continues to show reliable hands and playmaking ability, Cook has TE1 fantasy upside.


Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 41 - 256 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 26 - 1
Marcus Mariota had a mediocre day on the stat sheet as he completed 25 of 41 pass attempts for 256 passing yards and no touchdowns. Mariota's first drive of the game was definitely his best, as he led the team 75 yards to their only touchdown of the game. Mariota looked poised in the pocket on this drive as he converted three third downs of eight or more yards thanks to plenty of time from his offensive line along with very impressive throws to Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis. Mariota also looked very impressive rushing as he tucked it away for a 10-yard rushing touchdown to cap off that drive. Outside of this first drive, things did not look great as the Titans offense really fizzled with Mariota taking much heavier pressure from the Raiders pass rush. He made some solid throws in the second half, but also made some very bad reads throwing into double coverage on multiple occasions. Next week, Mariota will have to visit a Jaguars defense that looked rock solid against the Texans this week.

RB DeMarco Murray, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 44 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (2 targets)
Demarco Murray received less work than expected in Week 1, rushing only 16 times for 44 yards with two receptions for 16 yards. Against what was supposed to be a beat-able Raiders defensive front, the Titans seemed to struggle to establish their ground game as neither Henry nor Murray saw sustained success. Murray had one flash of brilliance with a very impressive run up the middle for 21 yards near the end of the third quarter to set up a Titans field goal. Outside of that run, Murray never rushed for more than seven yards while rushing for two or fewer yards on seven of his 12 carries. Derrick Henry took over for Murray on the second and third series of the game, but Murray resumed his role after that and for the rest of the game.

RB Derrick Henry, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 25 - 0
Derrick Henry managed to gain 25 yards from his six rushing attempts against the Raiders this week. While his stats were nothing to write home about, Henry was allotted half as many carries as Demarco Murray (6 for Henry, 12 for Murray). Henry was in the game for all of the Titans' third series, on which he received four of his six carries for 15 yards. Henry showed great explosiveness when he had the ball in his hands, he just needs more of an opportunity to make him a true factor in terms of fantasy production.

WR Corey Davis, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 69 - 0 (10 targets)
Corey Davis had a very solid outing in his regular season debut, hauling in six receptions for 69 yards. Davis certainly did not look like he had been dealing with a hamstring injury, as he appeared very quick off the line and was routinely finding space against the Raiders cornerbacks. Davis shined on his first catch of the game, hauling in a well-thrown ball over the head of a defender while falling backwardsógood for 23 yards, his longest reception of the day. Davis led the team in targets with 10 total, however, four of those came on the Titans last drive with Marcus Mariota targeting him on four consecutive plays. While Davis was not on the field as much as the likes of Rishard Matthews or Delanie Walker, expect for him to quickly turn into a significant contributor in this offense.

WR Rishard Matthews, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 71 - 0 (9 targets)
Rishard Matthews was targeted nine times, hauling in five of those for 71 receiving yards. Matthews looked very sharp on the first drive, making a couple of critical third-and-long catches for a combined 28 yards. Matthews received the first target of the game, and five of his nine targets came on third and long situations - showing a clear level of trust between him and Marcus Mariota that has carried over from 2016. Despite the talent added this offseason, Matthews looks to still be heavily involved in this Titans offense.

WR Eric Decker, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 10 - 0 (8 targets)
Eric Decker did not look sharp in his Titans debut, catching three of his eight targets for 10 total yards. Decker was definitely out-shined by his counterparts Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis, despite his relatively equal target share. Decker was routinely covered and rarely open. In one opportunity to make a big third down catch mid-way through the third quarter, Decker simply tripped up on his route instead of hauling in what would have been at least as 15-yard completion. On a positive note though, Decker did receive a couple of targets in the red zone - an encouraging note for a proven red zone threat such as Decker.

TE Delanie Walker, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 76 - 0 (9 targets)
After being nearly non-existent in the first half with only two targets with one reception for 10 yards, Delanie Walker finished with a team-leading seven receptions and 76 receiving yards. Starting with Mariota's first pass of the second half, Walker reminded everyone of the chemistry he can develop with Marcus Mariota. Walker proceeded to catch six of his seven balls in the second half, including a 23-yard diving reception on the final drive of the third quarter, ending in a field goal for the Titans. Walker had two more long receptions on subsequent drives, for 17 and 13 yards respectively. He finished as the most efficient target amongst primary Titans receivers here, only missing out on two of his nine targets.