Running Back Latavius Murray
The Oakland Raiders flew back from Nashville with a win under their belt, after beating the Tennessee Titans 17-10 at Nissan Stadium.
With the win, the Raiders improve their record to 2-1 headed into next week's road matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. However, before our focus shifts entirety to Joe Flacco and Co., let's take a look at five takeaways from the Silver and Black's win over the Titans.
1. Karl Joseph provided a spark
After Joseph played primarily on special teams for the first two games of the regular season, Head Coach Jack Del Rio decided that it was time to see the team's first-round draft pick as part of the base defense against the Titans.
Joseph didn't disappoint, finishing the game with a team-leading 10 total tackles, and helping prevent the Titans offense from finding the end zone during his time on the field.
"My eyes told me that he did some good things," said Head Coach Del Rio postgame. "I'm sure there will be things that weren't perfect but I thought he gave us throughout the whole week and the way we played and the way the defense played, I thought he gave us a little bit of a spark having him in."
Sunday's effort was far from perfect, but it was certainly a good start for the hard-hitting safety.
2. Even on an off day, the offense can be effective
As happy as he was to be flying back to Northern California with a win, quarterback Derek Carr certainly wasn't thrilled with the output from the Raiders offense Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium.
"I expect more, but we did enough today to win," Carr said postgame. "It's a good feeling to feel good about, but it's good that this happened and we got the win because now we can go back and say, 'look guys, we gotta grind harder or whatever it is.' We've got to do better and it's always good to do that with a win because you feel good about it. We know everyone in that locker room on our side of the ball knows we need to play better. That was just not good enough."
The Raiders weren't rendered ineffective by any means, but after back-to-back weeks where the team seemingly couldn't be stopped, Sunday's effort was less dynamic.
After putting up 17 points in the first half, Carr and the offense didn't produce any points for the rest of the afternoon, instead leaning on the defense to help secure the Week 3 win over the Titans.
Now, Carr still completed 21 of 35 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown, and the Raiders still tallied over 100 yards on the ground, but penalties and fixable mistakes limited their effectiveness throughout the afternoon.
While it wasn't their best effort of the season, it's promising that the offense can still get the job done, even when everything isn't going its way.
3. David Amerson really enjoys playing the Titans
I don't know if it's the country music, barbecue, or if there's something in the water, but David Amerson just has big games when he hits the field at Nissan Stadium.
After enjoying arguably the best game of his career last season when the team traveled to Tennessee, No. 29 delivered yet another quality game Sunday in the 17-10 win over the Titans.
In total, he finished the game with three tackles and four passes defensed, and also helped manufacture Reggie Nelson's interception that ended the first half.
Through three games, Amerson is tied for the NFL lead with seven passes defensed, and is routinely showing why the organization rewarded him with a multi-year extension this offseason.
4. The run defense still needs some work
Top to bottom, Sunday's defensive effort was far and away the best of the short season, but even with the improvement on the defensive side of the football, the Titans were still able to rack up 181 yards on the ground Sunday afternoon.
DeMarco Murray finished the day with 114 rushing yards and a touchdown, and Derrick Henry and Mariota chipped in as well with 45 and 22 yards respectively.
While the team was able to take care of business and secure the win, allowing nearly 200 rushing yards is something that will need to be addressed as the team regroups and prepares to take on the Ravens next week.
"I saw glimpses of what it should look like," Head Coach Del Rio said about the defense. "I think we all did. We saw glimpses. Nowhere near what it needs to be yet but certainly reasons to be optimistic, which I am. I am very optimistic about the men we have and the work we are putting in. We have got a lot of things to clean up."
5. The offensive line depth was tested yet again
It seems like each week the Raiders are forced to employ a different combination of linemen to protect Carr and pave the way for the running game, and Sunday's game was no different.
After missing the Week 2 loss to the Falcons, Menelik Watson returned to the starting lineup at right tackle Sunday, but was forced to exit the contest early due to a lower leg injury.
Rookie lineman Vadal Alexander was inserted into his spot along the right side, and overall he played well, as the Raiders surrendered just one sack to the Titans in the 17-10 victory.
As of now, the severity of Watson's injury is unclear, but paired with the absence of Austin Howard and Matt McCants, Alexander could see his fair share of playing time in the near future.