Oakland Raiders: Takeaways from 30-14 loss to Texans


The 2014 Oakland Raiders home opener is now in the books. Unfortunately, the story does not have a happy ending. Honestly, the Raiders looked terrible. The defense could not stop the run, receivers fumbled the ball, and the team just couldn’t keep the momentum going. However, there were a few bright spots. A healthy McFadden ran the ball well, Derek Carr is progressing, Khalil Mack is continuing to grow and Justin Tuck made a great block on a field goal attempt. Many of these efforts were just too little, too late.

Here are my takeaways from this loss.

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  • Raiders Defense was invisible

    This defense made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a Pro Bowl quarterback. Arian Foster had his way with the Oakland Raider defense. Foster recorded 28 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. Even J.J. Watt scored a touchdown. Once again, there were too many missed tackles and not enough pass rush. Mack was able to get in and rush the passer, and even get his hand on the ball a few times but it wasn’t enough to stop the Texans offense. When veteran Safety Charles Woodson says the team sucks, you know it’s true.

    Receivers could not hold onto the ball 

    The offense also got off to a REALLY slow start. The Raiders did not score until the fourth quarter. By then the game was already over. James Jones fumbled the ball twice in one play, Rivera fumbled the ball. Rod Streater, Brice Butler, and Jones all missed passes that should have been caught. If someone told me the receivers buttered their hands before the game, I would believe them.

    Turnovers killed the offense

    Every time there was a glimmer of hope, the Raiders gave the ball up. Jones caught a 20-yard pass from Carr before getting stripped by Johnathan Joseph at the Houston 35. Jones picked the ball up and ran toward the end zone, but Joseph knocked the ball out again from behind and D.J. Swearinger recovered at the Texans 3. Carr also threw a pass that was intercepted by Kareem Jackson that set up a Texans field goal field goal. Then Mychal Rivera fumbled a catch early in the third quarter and Joseph returned it 49 yards to set up another Texans touchdown. Carr threw a second interception after getting hit by J.J. Watt in the fourth quarter. The turnovers killed successful drives and continued to put the defense eon the field, tiring them out.The Raiders need to learn to hold onto the ball or these games could get a lot uglier. 

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    Darren McFadden ran with confidence

    This was mostly in the second half, but McFadden ran the ball like he had something to prove, mostly because he does. McFadden is on a one year contract and has to prove himself to keep his place on this team. With Maurice Jones-Drew out this week, McFadden was given considerable play. Though McFadden was held to 12 carries, 37 yards and a touchdown, if he can stay healthy, he’ll be very productive.

    Derek Carr continues to mature

    There were some improvements Carr today. Even after throwing two interceptions, Carr looked calm, collected and ready to correct his mistakes. Carr even ran the ball himself a few times, recording 58 yards. At the end of it all Carr was 27 of 42 for 263 yards. Look for Carr to continue to grow this season.

    If the Raiders can’t fix these problems, and capitalize off the successes of this team, this will be a long season