The Oakland Raiders returned to the field Sunday as they opened up their 2017 campaign against the Titans in Nashville.
The Titans tried to catch the Raiders off guard with an onside kick, but rookie Shalom Luani recovered it giving Derek Carr and the offense a short field.
It took Carr just four plays to go 50 yards, finding wide receiver Amari Cooper in the end zone to give the team the early 7-0 lead.
Marcus Mariota and the Titans would answer though as the Raiders defense struggled to get off the field on third down. The Titans offense converted three third-down conversions and capitalized with a touchdown run by Mariota to tie the game.
With the offense rolling, it looked like the Raiders were going to get back into the end zone after Marshawn Lynch converted a fourth-down carry to give the Raiders first and goal from the two-yard line. After three straight incomplete passes to Cooper, Giorgio Tavecchio trotted out to give the team the lead again with his first NFL field goal.
It was a career day for the young kicker who replaced the injured Sebastian Janikowski. Tavecchio was perfect from the field, finishing 4/4 with a pair of 52-yard field goals.
With both defenses settling in, the two teams went into the locker room at halftime tied.
It looked like the Titans were going to get their first lead of the game but undrafted free agent Nicholas Morrow had other plans. Facing a third and two in the red zone, DeMarco Murray took a pitch to the right side but Morrow came up for the tackle, forcing a field goal to keep the score 16-13.
Carr and the Raiders would get back into the end zone on the next drive, using just seven plays to go 75 yards. In his first target of the game, Seth Roberts hauled in a 19-yard touchdown to extend the Raiders lead.
The Raiders defense continued to hold the Titans offense, though they added a field goal to bring them to just a touchdown deficit with just over four minutes remaining. But it was too little, too late as Carr and the Raiders would feature a heavy dose of Beast Mode to drive down the field.
The drive would stall at the 25 yard line, forcing another Tavecchio field goal. Just as he did three times before, the young kicker split the uprights to give the Raiders a 26-16 lead with just a minute remaining.
The Raiders would hold on to start the season 1-0, just as they did last year. They’ll return home to take on the New York Jets in Oakland next week.