With Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders Offense in reverse, the last thing they need is to face the #1 rated Defense in the NFL. That is exactly what they will be getting when they travel to Houston on Sunday to face the Texans. That being said, it’s still a winnable game. After all, the Texans have lost 7 in a row and their record is worse than the Raiders, at 2-7. The last time the Raiders played in Houston, it was the day after Al Davis died and they beat the Texans 25-20.
Houston has the #1 Defense with regards to total yards allowed, at 280 yards a game. They are #1 in passing yards with 166.6 allowed per game. The Defense is tied for 22nd in the league with 21 sacks. They are 13th in rushing yards allowed at 113.4 per game. The Texans are tied for 16th in the NFL with 4.1 yards allowed per rushing attempt. As a team, the Texans are 28th in the NFL, allowing 27.6 points per game.
The Raiders Offense is dead last in the NFL in passing yards, averaging 187.6 yards per game. They are 5th in the league averaging 143.2 rushing yards per game and 18th in total yards at 330.8 per game. The Offense is tied for 31st in the NFL with 36 sacks allowed. As a team, the Raiders are 29th in the NFL averaging 18.4 points per game. Rashad Jennings is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and Marcel Reece is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Darren McFadden averages 3.6 yards per carry. Pryor is completing 58.9% of his passes and has a passer rating of 69.
WHAT IT MEANS
Based on those numbers, the Raiders should run and run often, with Jennings and Reece. But like in the Giants game, even when they had success running the ball, that doesn’t mean Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson will stick to the run game to take some pressure off the struggling Pryor. I would expect the Texans to stack the box and force the Raiders offensive line to pass block, the wide receivers to beat them in man coverage and Terrelle Pryor to deliver an accurate pass.
The Raiders Defense continues to be the bright spot this season. They are 7th in the NFL allowing 98.9 rushing yards per game and tied for 5th allowing 3.7 yards per carry. They are 16th in total yards allowed at 345.4 per game. They are 22nd in the league with 246.6 passing yards allowed per game. Tied for 14th in sacks with 26. As a team they are 21st in the league allowing 24.8 points per game.
The Texans offense is in flux. They are starting rookie QB Case Keenum, are without their workhorse running back Arian Foster and their backup RB Ben Tate has cracked ribs. They are 9th in total yards (376.2 per game), 12th in passing yards (252.6 per game), and 11th in rushing yards (123.7 per game). They have not had a 100 yard rusher in their last 3 games. They are tied for 20th in the NFL allowing 26 sacks. As a team, they are 27th in the NFL, scoring an average of 18.9 points per game. Keenum is completing 55.9% of his passes, but he has zero interceptions and a passer rating of 105.1 in his 3 starts.
WHAT IT MEANS
Based on the rookie QB and slacking running game, you bracket Andre Johnson so he doesn’t beat you. The Raiders should be able to control the line of scrimmage and shut down the run. The Texans offense loves those naked bootlegs, so the ends must keep contain. One of these two squads is going to improve on their averages and it should be the Raiders Defense.