Everything to know for the Oakland Raiders Week 11 matchup against the Houston Texans.
With the Raiders keeping their undefeated streak alive against every fans most hated rival, “BYE WEEK”, Oakland waltzes into a prime time matchup against the Houston Texans in Mexico City at a beautiful 7-2, leaving fans to wonder if they took a time machine back to 2002.
This game is the chance for Oakland to make its mark. Monday Night Football, something Oakland hasn’t enjoyed since a demoralizing defeat to San Diego at home in 2009, a game infamous to Raider fans due to Jon Condo getting hurt and Travis Goethel stepping in at longsnapper.
Regardless, the Texans game is one that Oakland quarterback Derek Carr walks into with a major chip on his shoulder.
As is famously remembered, the Texans passed on Carr for both defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo — and on top of that, the Texans didn’t even meet with Carr.
Led by Brock Osweiler, a $72 million dollar free agent dud, Houston has been inept on the offensive side of the ball. Despite having the league’s 5th ranked rushing game, a horrid pass offense led by Osweiler is holding the Texans to just 308.8 yards per game, good for 30th in the league.
On top of having a dud at quarterback, the SEVENTH they’ve trotted out to start since passing on Carr, they have wide receiver Nuk Hopkins, a nice talent who struggles with separating from cornerbacks as well as a very good running back in Lamar Miller.
Sunday marks the tenth all-time meeting between the Raiders and the Jaguars, a history stretching back to the inaugural meeting in 2004 — a 17-30 Oakland loss. Houston is 6-3 against Oakland over the course of the series, and look to add on to a one-game winning streak.
Schedule, Live Stream and Radio Broadcast
TV: 5:30 PM PST/8:30 PM EST on ESPN
Announcers: Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: 95.7 The Game with Greg Papa
Point Spread: Raiders are -3.5 point favorites with an Over/Under of 46.5 points, per Oddshark
Things To Know:
- Can Oakland stop the run effectively?
The best thing Oakland can do, crazily enough, is force Houston to pass the ball. While the Raiders secondary has been much maligned in the early going, the Texans have an elite run game with a subpar passing game.
If Oakland can get early stops against the run and force the Texans to beat them on the arm of Brock Osweiler, Oakland should be able to harass Osweiler and force multiple poor decisions all night long.
- Impose. Our. Will.
With the Texans defense missing the best down lineman in the NFL in JJ Watt, Oakland has to take the chance to dominate the line of scrimmage early and often. With no Watt, Oakland can key in on shutting down an emerging Jadeveon Clowney in the passing game.
Imposing their will, much like they did in the Bronco game, is going to be key in demoralizing an opponent early.
While there are issues with the altitude and pollution in Mexico City, if Oakland dominates early and often while rotating players, expect the Texans to shut down quickly, allowing the Raiders to control the game.
- Can Latavius Murray continue his stretch of dominance?
After an impressive game against the defending Super Bowl champions, one that saw him rush for 114 yards and 3 touchdowns, Murray walks into Mexico City with a target on his back.
While the altitude and pollution will be concerning for the Raider back, if Murray can make a mark early, it will go far in sealing the game against a tough AFC opponent.
Murray has taken heat from many a fan, but has grown into his role as the bruiser in a deep backfield, and is on track for 16 rushing touchdowns this year.
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