The AFC West is in play all of a sudden with Patrick Mahomes' injury, and that's a fact that is not lost on the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are a surprising 3-3, a game and a half behind the Chiefs with a chance to pull closer this weekend when the face the Texans. The Texans are also a team in the playoff hunt. They come in with a record of 4-3, a half game behind the the Colts in the AFC South. The Texans last played the Raiders in 2017 when the Texans won 27-17. The Texans are 6.5 point favorites in the early lines. Kickoff is Sunday at 4:25 Eastern at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Jon Gruden's Oakland Raiders may be better than people think. They didn't show it last week in getting crushed by the Green Bay Packers 41-24, but they have had some quality wins. They beat the Colts and the Bears in recent weeks and stand at 3-3. This is a big one for them as they have a chance to beat a good team on the road. Derek Carr has been efficient leading the league in completion percentage, and rookie running back Josh Jacobs have lived up to expectations with 554 rushing yards, 8th in the NFL. The defense is still not good, but baby steps.
The Houston Texans are coming off a tough loss last week against division rivals, the Colts. They fell 30-23 at Indy in one of those games you find a way to win if you consider yourself one of the elite teams in the AFC. By losing, I think we have out answer -- they are a good team but thy are by no means one of those elite teams challenging for the conference -- at least not now. They come back home this week and face another important game against a pretty good team. The Texans need to find a way to win this one.
Raiders get shredded by RodgersThe Oakland Raiders are much improved this year as they enter this game with a record of 3-3. That said, they did not look it last Sunday at Green Bay where they lost to the Packers 41-24. Aaron Rodgers absolutely carved up the Raiders defense throwing for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns. Derek Carr was his typical, efficient self, going 22 for 28 for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he can't play defense. Nor can rookie Josh Jacobs who had 124 yards rushing. Jacobs has 554 rushing yards on the season, which is 8th in the NFL. Darren Waller also had a great game. The tight end caught 7 passes for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. But that defense -- it needs help.
den was upset with the referees, as he said after the game.“The referees, I wasn’t happy with some of the calls, obviously,” said Gruden, reported Heavy. But he should be more worried about his pass defense.
The Raiders average about 21 points per game, which ranks 18th in the NFL. They average 378 total yards per game, which is 16th in the league. That includes 241 ypg in the air, which is 22nd and 137 ypg on the ground, which ranks 6th in the league. Defensively, they are not good. They allow 27.5 points per game, which ranks 29th in the NFL. They allow 376 total yards per game, which is 24th in the league. They give up 289 ypg in the air, which is 31st, and 86 ypg on the ground, which is 5th in the NFL.
Houston can't win big gameThe Houston Texans are a big tease, and they have been for a long time. Every year, you think this is the year they make the leap to the elite level of the AFC and seriously challenge for the AFC title. And every year they disappoint and go out in the playoffs with a whimper. And here we are again. The Texans are 4-3 and they just can't ever seem to win a big game. Last week, for example, they had a chance to beat their division rival, the Colts, and move into first place in the AFC South and, of course, they lost 30-23. The Colts were in control throughout, even though the Texans cut it to 28-22 in the fourth, they couldn't close the deal. We've seen this story before -- and we'll see it again.
"A lot of self-inflicted things," head coach Bill O'Brien said, reported the Texans web site. "A lot of things that we've got to clean up. We've got to coach it better. Just a lot of things to go back to work on."
The Texans do put up good numbers. They average about 26 points per game, which ranks 9th in the NFL. They average 413 total yards per game, which is 3rd in the league. That includes 278 ypg in the air, which is 10th and 134 ypg on the ground, which ranks 8th in the league. Defensively, they allow 23 points per game, which ranks 18th in the NFL. They allow 360 total yards per game, which is 17th in the league. They give up 275 ypg in the air, which is 29th, and 84 ypg on the ground, which is 3rd in the NFL.
- Texans are 6-15-1 ATS in their last 22 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Texans are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.
- Raiders are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
- Raiders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- Raiders are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games in Week 8.