Week 7 is finally here for the Las Vegas Raiders as the team looks to rebound coming out of their bye week. Standing in the way of the Silver and Black is Lovie Smith’s Houston Texans. Here’s a game preview and prediction for this crucial matchup.
Starting 1-4 has been less than desirable for the Raiders and their fans. Following a stellar offseason, Raider Nation had high expectations for their team. While moral victories don’t do much for the overall record, it should be noted that the point differential in the Raiders’ four losses is a grand total of 14 points.
In other words, the gap hasn’t been as wide as some would believe.
For the Texans, they hold the distinction of having a tie in their record to go along with just one win as well. While there isn’t much that stands out about the Texans, one area where they excel is their red zone defense.
Well, as most Raiders fans know, Josh McDaniels’ offense is still struggling mightily to get anything going in the red zone. With Darren Waller likely out, Derek Carr will need to lean heavily on Foster Moreau and Davante Adams in that part of the field. Can the Texans’ young and talented secondary shut down the Silver and Black?
The Raiders need to keep it in the hands of Josh Jacobs versus the Texans
The last couple of weeks has seen both the trajectory of Josh Jacobs and the O-line trend upward. In terms of run-blocking, McDaniels’ current rotation, along with Jakob Johnson, is hitting its stride.
Andre James has come back and made his presence known, and versatile rookie Dylan Parham has been a revelation. Heading into Sunday, the Texans are 27th in terms of surrendering yardage on the ground (824 yards) while simultaneously giving up 5.1 yards per carry. They’re obviously vulnerable to big runs, so why not let Jacobs feast and take advantage of this?
In order for Carr to get himself a couple of touchdown passes; the Raiders will need to use their run game to open things up and wear down the Texans’ defense. While Smith’s defense doesn’t give up too many touchdowns through the air, they are giving up 11.8 yards per reception.
The Las Vegas Raiders come off their bye week and welcome the Houston Texans in Week 7. Here are the x-factors heading into Sunday's matchup.
At some point, Adams is going to break away for a deep completion downfield. Basically, if the Raiders stick to the fundamentals as Mick Lombardi stressed this week, they’ll get past Houston.
Final Score: Texans 14. Raiders 24