It is pretty simple for the Las Vegas Raiders: in Week 3, they must win.
The last team to start 0-3 and make the playoffs was the 2018 Houston Texans.
Before that only three teams since 1990 have accomplished the feat.
But none of those teams had to play in the 2022 AFC West.
That division is by far the best in football and the Raiders still have five division games left.
So, after an offseason that saw the Raiders add Davante Adams, they already find themselves in a must-win scenario.
This @tae15adams guy is pretty good… 👀
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/LpUniijq0s
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 18, 2022
The Raiders travel to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 in a battle of 0-2 teams.
These are the two most desperate teams in the NFL, but the Raiders need this win more because of their division.
Last week the Raiders blew a 20-0 halftime lead to the Arizona Cardinals in what was a terrible second-half showing.
This was not the way new head coach, Josh McDaniels, wanted to start his Raiders coaching tenure.
Now all of the pressure is on the Raiders’ offense in Week 3.
Derek Carr must show up and play well on the road.
For his career, Carr is statistically worse on the road than he is at home.
His completion percentage is lower and he has thrown more interceptions on the road.
In 14 games since Jon Gruden resigned as #Raiders coach, Derek Carr has committed 20 turnovers and produced 18 TDs.
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 14, 2022
But his weapons this season may be the best of his career.
So, the opportunity will be there for the Raiders offense to do the same thing.
The Raiders running back Josh Jacobs could have a big day on the ground as well.
Thanks to the Titans allowing the second-most rushing yards this year and six yards per carry.
After having only two catches in Week 2, look for Adams to have a monster game against Tennessee.
The Titans do not have a cornerback good enough to handle one-on-one and he will be the x-factor in this game.
Stopping The Titans
The Raiders’ defense will have their hands full trying to stop running back Derrick Henry.
He is the focal point of the offense and should be the main focus of the Raiders’ D.
Henry has yet to get going this season, so the Titans will most likely look to feed him the ball all game.
The Raiders’ defense has been pretty good against the run this year, allowing only 3.7 yards per carry.
But in the past, they have been crushed by elite run teams like the Titans.
So, it will be a good test for the Raiders in the trenches.
Ryan Tannehill is still the QB for the Titans.
But he does not strike fear into an opposing defense as Henry does.
Tannehill has not been good so far this season, completing only 58.5% of his throws and having two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Las Vegas should focus on loading the box and making Tannehill beat them.
Having Tannehill throw 30-35 times is not a winning formula for the Titans.
Overall, in the battle of 0-2 teams, the Raiders have to win this game.
If not, they will need a miraculous turnaround just to get into the playoffs.