Leaky fourth quarter defense dooms Oakland Raiders in Week 8
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders wrapped up their long trip away from home inside NRG Stadium on Sunday, taking on the Houston Texans.
The Oakland Raiders had every opportunity to defeat the Houston Texans and make a statement in the AFC playoff picture, but the defense could not get stops late. In fact, two fourth quarter touchdowns proved to be the death nail for the Silver and Black, who moved to 3-4 with the loss.
In the first quarter, Derek Carr struck first, hitting rookie Hunter Renfrow for 65 yards for his first touchdown at the NFL level. It was the first of three touchdown passes for Carr, who took advantage of a banged up Texans defense every chance he could get.
It did not take the Texans long to tie the game up, as Deshaun Watson hit running back Duke Johnson for a 12-yard score to knot it up at 7-7. Oakland would strike back early in the second quarter, as tight end phenom Darren Waller scored his third touchdown in his last two games.
Houston would pull within four at the half, blasting a field goal a little over a minute left in the second quarter, and would get the ball to start the second half.
After another Texans field goal brought the game within one point, Carr once again took to the air, hitting Tyrell Williams for a 46-yard touchdown. For Williams, who was returning from an injury to his foot, the touchdown marked the fifth time in as many games that he has found the end zone as a member of the Silver and Black.
Interestingly enough, Williams beat former Raiders first rounder Gareon Conley on the play, as the cornerback was taking on the team he was a member of this past Sunday.
The second half would bring an incredible back and forth battle, as the Texans would come all the way back from down 21-13 to take the lead with a little over six and a half left in the fourth quarter. Watson hit tight end Darren Fells twice in the fourth quarter, who set a career-high with his fifth touchdown of the season.
Down 27-24, the Raiders got the ball back, and looked to be in position to put points on the board, but a costly Richie Incognito hold brought back a big gainer by Josh Jacobs into Texans territory. Williams then could not hang on to a completion down the sideline, and the Raiders were forced to punt the ball.
Houston got the ball and were able to get the plays needed to extend the drive, and ended up holding on for the three-point victory. Oakland will now finally return home, as they will take on the Detroit Lions inside the Coliseum