The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, and here are some things to keep an eye on in this AFC matchup.
The Las Vegas Raiders got into Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season still looking for their first win, this after blowing a 20-0 halftime lead to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. That was one of the worst losses I remember seeing in recent memory, and now, they have to hit the road to take on a Tennessee Titans team that is reeling after an 0-2 start as well.
Tennessee was absolutely demolished by the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, so they are playing on a short week, but they are home, and this is a 10:00 AM PT start. To beat Tennessee, the Raiders must play better than they have so far in 2022, and here are some storylines to keep an eye on this weekend.
Raiders at Titans: Things to watch for in 2022 Week 3
Can the Raiders play four quarters?
For the Raiders, the game plan has to be simple, and that is putting four good quarters of football together within one game. The Silver and Black struggled in the first half in Week 1, only to play better after the break, while the opposite was true in their terrible overtime loss to Arizona this past weekend.
Head coach Josh McDaniels seemingly took his foot off the gas against Arizona, as the defense played soft, and really played not to lose instead of playing to win. That won’t work against a Titans team with playoff aspirations, especially on the road, so if the Raiders do get out to a lead, they have to continue to pounce.
Will we see Malik Willis?
During the preseason, rookie quarterback Malik Willis looked every bit the part of a starting NFL quarterback, and it would not surprise if the Raiders saw him this weekend. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has not gotten out to the best start for the Titans, and with Willis’s ability to throw, as well as run the football, he could be the spark this offense needs.
Tennessee has one of the more balanced teams in the NFL, so their start has been a bit shocking, especially how they played Monday night in Buffalo. If Tannehill struggles early on, it could be Willis time, and he presents a different group of problems for this Raiders defense.
Can Las Vegas stop Derrick Henry?
When it comes to the Tennessee Titans, one name stands above all others, and that is Derrick Henry. Widely considered one of the best running backs in the NFL, Henry can hurt you in so many ways, and the key for Las Vegas on Sunday will be to limit the damage done by their big back in the run game.
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Las Vegas has done a nice job against the run so far this season, but Henry is on another level than the likes of Austin Ekeler and James Conner. If he starts to run downhill, he could pound this Raiders defense into submission, opening up passing lanes on the outside for Tannehill or Willis to do some damage.
Even through we are only in Week 3, this is a must-win game for both franchises.