They didn’t play well for the second straight time at home – but all that matters is the outcome. That’s how the Tennessee Titans have to look at Sunday’s lackluster 13-9 loss to the slumping Oakland Raiders at LP Field. The Titans were not able to throw the ball very well again at home, but their running game, led by LenDale White with 133 yards, bailed them out again. “We got in a situation today that we had some difficulty throwing the football. They were taking some things away, and (we) had difficulty converting third downs. We hung in there and found a way to win this ballgame,” coach Jeff Fisher said.
Overall the Titans rushed for 192 yards on 36 carries, putting up 5.6 yards per carry. Their passing game, with a returning Vince Young, was not good, as he was just 6-for-14 for 42 yards with a total of 26 yards net passing if you take the sacks away. Nonetheless, it was the Raiders the Titans were playing, and they were able to make mistakes and overcome them.
The Titans defense held the Raiders to 235 total yards on offense, and they got to Raiders QB Daunte Culpepper five times for minus 24 yards. Oakland built a 9-3 led late in the third quarter on three Sebastian Janikowski field goals, but then allowed Chris Henry to run past them 24 yards for the only touchdown of the game. The Raiders 7 second half possessions went punt, punt, punt, fumble, punt, interception, downs.
“However we’re winning is fine as long as the notches are going in the win column,” Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck said. For the Titans, this was a big win, as they improve to 5-2 on the season, and with two straight at home vs the Panthers and Jags, beating the Raiders, who fall to 2-5, was a must.
The Raiders, as usual, hung in there, but were unable to take advantage of an off day by Young and the Titans offense. “That’s getting old,” first-year Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said of coming up just short. “No consolation.” The Raiders host the Houston Texans in Oakland next Sunday at 4:05pm.