The Oakland Raiders dropped a crucial home game against the Tennessee Titans on a late Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright with seconds left. The Raiders drop to 4-7 on the season and the Titans move to 5-6.
Finishing games has plagued the Raiders this year. The defense was unable to stop Tennessee on third down, allowing 10-18 conversions. Fitzpatrick escaped pressure with regularity to keep plays alive and exploit the middle of the field for first down conversions. On the winning 14-play 80 yard drive by the Titans, Fitzpatrick picked up two third and mediums across the middle. On the touchdown, he delivered to Wright as cornerback Tracy Porter gave way too much cushion.
Three of the Raiders' first half drives resulted in Sebastian Janikowski field goals from 52, 48 and 24 yards. Two of those drives were 10 plays traveling 46 and 71 yards. The Titans converted two Ron Bironas field goals, one set up by a Matt McGloin interception by Zach Brown. The Raiders had another field goal opportunity just before halftime after Jeremy Stewart blocked a punt, but Janikowski missed wide left failing to extend the 9-6 lead.
The Titans took first possession in the third quarter and marched 85 yards on four plays to take the 13-9 lead. Fitzpatrick went to his favorite target all day Justin Hunter. He hauled in a pass along the sideline, shook off a tackle by Phillip Adams and ran past Brandian Ross for the 54 yard score. Hunter finished with six catches for 109 yards and the touchdown. Janikowski faltered again on the ensuing Raiders' drive; missing wide left again from 48 yards out. The two misses would prove extremely costly in the four point loss.
The Raiders cut the lead to 13-12 when McGloin led a nine play 50 yard drive ending with Janikowski from 42 yards. Both teams struggled to score in the redzone. In two trips the Raiders only came away with three points. The field goal contest continued to start the fourth when Bironas extended the lead to 16-12 with a 23 yard field goal.
Oakland needed a drive and McGloin delivered on their next possession. He found wide receiver Rod Streater twice for 32 yards into Titans' territory. Running back Rashad Jennings took a swing pass for 15 yards on the next play. Then, McGloin stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure and found Marcel Reece for the 27 yard touchdown at the pylon, giving the Raiders a 19-16 lead with 6:10 remaining in the game. McGloin finished 19-32 for 260 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
A defensive stop by the Raiders would have ended the game. Instead, Fitzpatrick led the Titans down the field 80 yards. He hit Hunter and Wright five times on the drive. On third and ten from the Oakland 10 yard line, Fitzpatrick went to the well again, finding Wright on an out route in front of the backpedaling Tracy Porter. The touchdown gave the Titans a 23-19 lead with ten seconds remaining. Fitzpatrick finished the game 30-42 for 320 yards and two scores.
The Raiders ran a desperation play that resulted in a fumble recovered by Tennessee. Oakland has a short week traveling to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
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