Carr, Lynch give Raiders’ potent combo beating Titans 26-16
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Oakland Raiders have Derek Carr back and believe he’s even better than before. Marshawn Lynch showed off what ”Beast Mode” looks like crunching defenders in silver and black.
And the Tennessee Titans saw just how much work they need to measure against some of the AFC’s best.
Carr threw two touchdowns, Lynch ran for 76 yards and Sebastian Janikowski’s replacement kicker came through with four field goals in his NFL debut as the Raiders beat the Titans 26-16 in the season opener Sunday.
Not what Carr really wants, but enough to get started in his first game back after breaking his right leg on Dec. 24.
”When you win, you can sit back and realize that we could’ve had so much more,” Carr said. ”We did some good things, especially in the red zone, but there’s still so much room for growth.”
Carr was 22 of 32 for 262 yards and a 114.3 passer rating. The Titans sacked him on back-to-back plays in the second quarter and didn’t take him down again. He hit Amari Cooper for an 8-yard TD on the opening drive and Seth Roberts for a 19-yarder early in the fourth.
”He is even more focused and determined after having that injury last year,” Raiders running back Jalen Richard said.
Here are some things to know about the Raiders and Titans:
The Raiders gave Lynch their first carry of the game, and he ran for 14 yards. They saved him mostly for the fourth quarter, when he had 10 carries, six on the drive for the final field goal. On that drive, Lynch just ran over Jurrell Casey , the Titans’ Pro Bowl defensive lineman. Lynch also caught a pass for 16 yards. Lynch did speak to reporters after the game – accidentally. He opened a door to coach Jack Del Rio’s postgame interview, told a team official he had been available for three minutes. ”They didn’t holler at me. I’m good right?” Lynch said to laughter before closing the door.
The Titans became the first NFL team since 2009 to open a season with an onside kick. Like the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, they also failed. Ryan Succop’s kick was easily smothered by the Raiders. Titans coach Mike Mularkey defended his decision, saying he was trying to give his offense the ball at midfield. ”He told us he was going to do it, and we love his aggressiveness,” Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said.
Giorgio Tavecchio earned his first NFL job at the age of 27 when he signed Friday to replace the Raiders’ all-time leading scorer who’s on injured reserve with a bad back. The native of Milan, Italy, who played at California, came through with four field goals, including a pair of 52-yarders, making him the first in NFL history to debut with more than one 50-yarder.
He also joined Janikowski as the only kickers in Raiders’ history to connect on more than one 50-yard field goal in a game.
”I have been dreaming about this moment for a very long time,” Tavecchio said. ”It is special. I am feeling gratitude, catharsis. You spend so much time waiting, hoping, imagining, dreaming and then when it happens, it is not necessarily anti-climactic, but you can’t be too caught up in the moment and what it means to you.”
Carr took the blame for not scoring a touchdown on three straight passes to Amari Cooper from the Tennessee 2. The first went off Cooper’s hands, then Titans rookie cornerback Adoree Jackson got a hand into break up the second. Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo got his right fingers on the third. ”I’m completely fine with saying I screwed up,” Carr said. ”I did a couple times.”
NEED MORE PRACTICE
Marcus Mariota threw for 256 yards and had all his receivers available. Rookie Corey Davis, the fifth pick overall, made his NFL debut by catching six of the 10 passes thrown to him for 69 yards. Veteran Eric Decker played only one preseason game, limited by an injured ankle. He caught only three of eight passes for 10 yards.
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