Postgame Report: Titans vs Raiders

OFFENSE

The Raiders won this game for two reasons: an overall improvement in both run and pass blocking in the second half and a superior rushing attack. Statistically, the teams were roughly even in the end, except for the running game where Oakland had a 227-103 advantage in yards. With the exception of the team’s opening drive and the big screen pass to Lott at the end of the half, the Titan defense did a good job of shutting down the Raider offense. In the second half, though, the Raider running game opened up, especially when an injury to Lott forced Erdelatz to give more carries to Larscheid, who took full advantage of the opportunity. Oakland runners also came through at the end of the game when they took the last 3:35 off the clock to snuff out any chance of a Titans comeback.

Player notes

Buddy Allen: He didn’t match his two-touchdown performance against the Texans, but he did make the most of his six opportunities, gaining 45 yards. He threw an interception on a halfback pass play, but it’s hard to hold that against him.

Tom Flores: For the second straight game, Flores was praised for his accurate passing and savvy play calling. He went pretty much the whole way for Erdelatz and got it done when the team needed him in the clutch. At this point, he was the clear front-runner for opening day starter.

Charlie Hardy: Another good performance for Hardy. He had a big catch on the game-tying drive late in the third quarter and it was his block on the outside that set Larscheid free on his touchdown scamper.

John Harris: Picked up just 11 days ago, he made his first appearance on a scoresheet with one run for two yards.

Jack Larscheid: He ended up with 94 yards on nine carries, none bigger than his fourth quarter touchdown to tie the game. After his uninspiring performance against the Texans, this may have earned him a longer look.

Paul Larson: The forgotten man of the offense. He came in for just one play in the first half and was never seen on the field again.

Billy Lott: He continued to show skills in the receiving game with his 51 yard run on a screen and added 49 yards rushing. But, he had to leave the game with an injury in the third quarter and his status was uncertain immediately after the game.

Don Manoukian: He had battled injuries all camp, but he looked good at left guard in this one, having moved to that position just four days ago.

Charles Moore: Added to the team the same day as Harris, he got a little playing time, catching one pass for 11 yards.

Dean Philpott: Unseen in the Dallas game, Philpott got noticed in this one, scoring the winning touchdown and making key contributions to the Raiders’ other two touchdown-scoring drives.

Chris Plain: He had moved to right tackle in the big offensive line shuffle a few days ago, but he didn’t last long, hurting his leg in the first quarter and missing the rest of the contest. Erdelatz said after the game that the injury wasn’t serious.

Gene Prebola: A steady performer at the tight end position, he had chain-moving catches on both second half scoring drives.

Ron Sabal: A solid effort by the entire interior line, including Sabal.

Tony Teresa: For the second straight game he didn’t do much in the running game, with just nine yards on five carries, but he could sure catch the ball, doing it five times for 75 yards, including the 28-yarder for the opening drive touchdown.

DEFENSE

All in all, the Raiders played a pretty good defensive game. Maynard hurt the secondary a bit with his nine catches, but never for a score and the only other players to catch passes were backs. They held the Titans to under 3.5 yards per carry and picked off Jamieson twice in the first half when the Oakland offense was still trying to find its feet. Only a couple of pass interference penalties that led to scores blemished this effort.

Player notes

Joe Cannavino: Another fine game. He had one interception, almost had another but couldn’t get both feet inbounds, and provided staunch run support, especially on Blanche Martin’s failed fourth down attempt on New York’s final drive.

Bob Dougherty: The defensive star of the game. He was there to stop Martin, too, and his interception of Dorow in the fourth quarter set up the game-winning touchdown.

George Fields: Fields rounds out the trio of Raiders that put the game on ice by stopping Martin in his tracks on fourth-and-one at the Oakland 19.

Tom Louderback: Received praise for his all-around play in the game.

Eddie Macon: Mentioned only for his pass interference penalty in the first quarter that continued New York’s scoring drive in the first quarter.

Charley Powell: All the way back from a strained Achilles tendon, Powell had a nice game at his defensive end spot.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The teams were roughly even on special teams. Both teams had a nice average on punts, but neither team did much on returns, either on punts or kickoffs. The Titans did block an extra point try and Shockley made both of his kicks, something that can’t be said of his Raider counterpart.

Player notes

Larry Barnes: Another inconsistent placekicking performance. He missed a field goal try and had one of his three extra point attempts blocked.