Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans: 3 things to watch in Week 8
Can the Raiders pressure Deshaun Watson?
Aaron Rodgers completely picked the Raiders apart last week, and their inability to pressure the quarterback continues to hurt them.
Now they are going against another elite quarterback in Deshaun Watson, and if they can’t figure something out, they will be gashed again. Watson is currently top ten in passing yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, passer rating, and QBR. And for a cherry on top, he can make plays with his legs with five rushing touchdowns so far.
The pass rush needs to do something to make Watson uncomfortable because the backend of the defense has serious question marks. With the trade of Gareon Conley, the Raiders will be relying on rookie Trayvon Mullen to take his place. Oakland obviously has high hopes for Mullen, but you can’t expect him to be shut down in his first start. Especially against a Texans receiver group that has some good players.
They won’t have Will Fuller, but they still have an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and a reliable slot in Kenny Stills. Also, expect them to try some empty sets and use Duke Johnson out wide to exploit the Oakland linebackers.
Houston’s offensive line is better from last season but is still not that great, so if the Raiders don’t improve their pass rush this week, the concern level will only rise.
The personnel is what it is at this moment in time, so Paul Guenther needs to figure something out. There needs to be some form of creativity to camouflage the overall lack of talent.