Never say die mentality in fourth quarter
With Jack Del Rio as head coach and Derek Carr at quarterback, the Oakland Raiders never feel out of it late in games. Last year, Del Rio sent a strong message to his team and the league when he went for two on the road in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. This team will never quit.
Tennessee’s defense is certainly better than whatever Sean Payton throws out there in New Orleans. However, that message from a year ago to play with urgency and thrive in winning time from Del Rio still resonates. It gave this group of players a cornerstone to build a winning identity around.
Oakland may not win every close game it finds itself in this year. However, the Raiders have what it takes to be the more aggressive offense late in a tight ball game with Tennessee in Week 1. In short, we have more faith that Carr can execute a two-minute drill under duress than Mariota at this stage of their respective careers.
The best part is that Oakland knows it can win in thrilling fashion because it did so many times last year. All three of the Raiders’ victories over NFC South teams came down to the wire. Tennessee can win tight ball games too, but Oakland was excellent at it last year. Maybe it’ll be more of the same this year?