It took 15 games, but the Oakland Raiders on Sunday against the Houston Texans may have put together their best 60 minutes of football of the season as JaMarcus Russell threw a pair of touchdown passes while Johnnie Lee Higgins scored twice, leading Oakland to a 27-16 win over Houston at McAfee Coliseum.
Oakland dominated the first quarter as they put up some decent offense as Russell threw a 20-yard TD pass to wide receiver Chaz Schilens, putting the Raiders up 7-0; Houston would respond with a 1-yard TD run by RB Vonta Leach, knotting the game at 7-all, but the Raiders would convert a pair of field goals by Sebastian Janikowski – the second with 5 seconds left in the period – pushing OAkland’s edge to 13-7. The second quarter was relatively quiet as the only scoring was a pair of field goals by Houston kicker Kris Brown – a 53-yarder and a 24-yarder – which tied the game at 13-all as both teams went to their locker rooms at halftime.
The third quarter was the Johnny Lee Higgins Quarter as he hooked up with Russell on a 29-yard TD pass while returning a punt 80 yards for another score, giving Oakland an insurmountable 27-13 lead; a 40-yard field goal by Brown for Houston rounded out the scoring for the game. Russell had his best game this season, going 18-of-25 for 236 yards and 2 TDs while Housotn’s Matt Schaub went 19-of-36 for 255 with an interception.
Justin Fargas led the Raiders rushing attack with 93 yards on 22 carries while Darrell McFadden rushed 12 times for 46 yards while catching 5 passes for 41 yards; Steve Slaton led Houston with 66 yards on 18 carries while catching 5 passes for 36 yards. Tight end Zach Miller led the Raiders receivers with 4 receptions for 70 yards while Higgins caught 3 for 56 yards and a TD and Schilens caught 3 for 52 yards and a score. Owen Daniels led the Texans receivers with 7 receptions for 111 yards while David Anderson caught a pass for 65 yards. Oakland (4-11) closes out their regular season when they travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday while Houston (7-8) retiurns home to finish their season, hosting the Chicago Bears.