Passing game continuity
This game will likely come down to which team can execute better in the passing game. Both offensive lines are stout, both pass rushes are strong and both teams have issues in pass defense in their respective secondaries.
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Unlike Tennessee, Oakland’s offense is more predicated on the pass than the run. Though the running game looks to be improved with the addition of Marshawn Lynch, Oakland will have to out execute Tennessee through the air to win this game.
Oakland may have a new offensive coordinator in Downing, but that was an in-house promotion. Outside of tight end Jared Cook and No. 3 receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, much of the Raiders’ passing game from a year ago remains.
On the other side of the coin, two of Mariota’s most important receiving options in Corey Davis and Eric Decker are new to the team. Who knows how good their rapports are at this stage of season?
We do know that Carr trusts Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and his tight ends. Oakland will win a tight ball game in Nashville because it trusts what it can do more in the passing game than Tennessee at this time.