Playing soft: The defense the Raiders were in with the Titans facing a third-and-goal from the Oakland 10-yard line with 15 seconds to play? Try a zone. “If I had to do it all over again,” mused Raiders coach Dennis Allen, “I would have been more aggressive right there and come after them.” Instead, with only a three-man rush coming after him, Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had enough time to find Kendall Wright in a soft spot inside the 5-yard line, between slot cornerback Tracy Porter and cornerback Phillip Adams, and Wright plowed in for the game-winning score. “It was a great read and also the position I was in in zone coverage,” Porter said. “Great throw by Fitz right between me and the corner, and it was difficult for both of us to make the play in such a short window.” Said Allen: “Tracy was fine. It’s a tough route versus the coverage that we were in ... put that one on me.” It was a tough ending for the Raiders' defense, which allowed an 80-yard drive in 14 plays and six minutes after the offense had taken a 19-16 lead. Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden being placed on season-ending injured reserve last week and starting cornerback Mike Jenkins leaving with a concussion early in the fourth quarter did not help matters.
Get off the field: A strength of the Raiders' defense had been its ability to get off the field on third down. Not against Tennessee, though. The Titans picked up 175 yards on third-down conversions for the game, including four that were third-and-10 or longer. The Titans were 7-for-9 in the second half and 10-for-18 overall on third down. “I’m just going to say it: It was one of those days,” said safety Charles Woodson. “It wasn’t like they were giving us anything we hadn’t seen before on film. You just have to credit it to not making the play.” The Titans had a field day with passes across the middle.
Judging talent: For what it’s worth, the Raiders' "new" regime had more of its undrafted free agents starting the game (QB Matt McGloin, LG Lucas Nix, WR Rod Streater) than its rookie draft picks (DT Stacy McGee, LB Sio Moore).
Of explosive plays XI: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had nine such plays against the Titans, one run and eight passes, including McGloin’s 27-yard TD pass. Tennessee had six explosive plays, one run and five passes, including a touchdown. In 11 games, the Raiders have 79 explosive plays (24 runs, 55 passes), with three TD runs and seven passing scores. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, also have 79 explosive plays: 17 runs (one TD) and 62 passes (seven TDs).