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Game Gabe Jackson Jersey Quarterback Marcus Mariota’s hamstring is the injury to watch this week, and there’s a possibility that his status won’t be known until Sunday. He was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, throwing during individual drills in pads and a helmet. Coach Mike Mularkey said the Titans don’t want to put Mariota in a position where he could reinjure his hamstring, but the coach did mention that the third-year quarterback doesn’t need to fully participate in practice to play Sunday. Mariota’s injury is minor, but hamstring strains tend to linger, and it would likely affect his mobility if he did play. Matt Cassel would get the start if Mariota can’t play. — Cameron Wolfe
FPI might not love Derek Carr, but it certainly recognizes that there is a very large drop-off between him and backup EJ Manuel, who will start for the Raiders with Carr injured.
Manuel, a former first-round bust, has a career Total QBR of 33.9. For context, that would be the 27th-best Total QBR among qualifying quarterbacks this season, and dead last among qualifying quarterbacks in 2016. Not ideal for a game in which Oakland has so much at stake. Because both teams are now long shots for their respective divisions, they could end up direct competitors for a wild-card spot.
Fortunately for Oakland, FPI thinks the rest of the team is good enough that the Raiders are still solid favorites hosting Baltimore coming to the West Coast.
One note on Baltimore’s Joe Flacco: While he has a reputation for having success by simply chucking it deep, he has barely attempted that strategy this season and when he has, it hasn’t worked. Flacco has attempted only seven pass attempts of 20 air yards or more this season, and has the worst raw QBR on such throws in the league.