Last year’s game versus the Houston Texans showed the potential the Oakland Raiders had on offense, defense and special teams and combined with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory, helped Tom Cable keep his job. JaMarcus Russell played his best game, the running game was effective, Johnny Lee Higgins put the game away, and the defense kept Andre Johnson to his worst performance in the league. Can they repeat the performance this Sunday to pull their record to 2-2 and get some belief back into the Nation?
The Texans are statistically the worst defense in the league, and like the Raiders, the run defense has been so bad that their pass defense doesn’t get tested at all. JaMarcus has faced a ton of criticism this week, so there is a sense that he may have a break out game, but it is more important that their running game dominates the game. If they run for over 150+ yards, they have a great chance of setting the tempo for the game and giving themselves a chance to win.
With the discussion this past week about how well the Raiders have held down Johnson, you figure that they will make him a focus of the offense, which is a good thing. That may take away the run offense, which the Texans should exploit against the Raiders. This may give the secondary a chance to make a play and give the team some momentum in the game. And please, Richard Seymour, dominate the line!!
Again, anything that gives the team some momentum would be huge, if nothing else from a field possession aspect. A big punt or kickoff return could be a game changer this week.
The Texans are tough at home and lost to a bad Jacksonville Jaguars team last week. They are going to look to take that out on the Raiders this weekend, so that is why a big play on defense or special teams is so necessary.
Prediction: Texans 24 Raiders 13