Before the Game – Texans at Raiders

The Texans travel to Oakland to face the Raiders after a disappointing loss to Dallas last week.

Sunday October 3, 2010 – 3:00pm CST – TV broadcast on CBS – Comcast 11 (Houston)

What to Watch -

  • Can the Texans bounce back after a disappointing loss to Dallas last week? Houston will need to show it through consistent play on both sides of the ball.
  • Andre Johnson is inactive for this game. Will Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter be able to step up? We know Walter can, because he did last time Johnson was injured.
  • The Texans defensive line will need to get more pressure on the opposing QB after a rather soft performance last week. Watch for Antonio Smith to bounce back.
  • The Raiders run defense isn’t exactly first class. With the Texans thin at receiver, look for them to run the ball. Arian Foster could have another big day on the ground.

Position Comparisons -

Texans
Raiders
QB
RB
WR
TE
OL
DL
LB
DB
SP

The Game -

After three tough opponents to start the season, Houston finally gets a break with Oakland. No game should be overlooked, but it’s safe to say that the first three weeks of the season have been a roller-coaster ride.

The big news is that Texans star wide receiver Andre Johnson is inactive. With this, the Texans will look for receivers Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter to step up. You can also look for David Anderson and Dorin Dickerson to see a good amount of action. The last time Johnson went down with an injury in 2007, the Texans didn’t have too much of a setback using Kevin Walter and Andre Davis. Now instead of Davis the Texans have Jones. We’ll see how that combination works.

It’s probably a good week to rest Andre as the Texans will go up against the league’s 24th ranked rush defense. Arian Foster has done a great job running the ball and should continue this week. After leading the league in rushing for three strait weeks, Foster will hope to hold onto that rank for another week.

The Raiders have had an impressive running game most of the time so far this season. Led by Darren McFadden, the Raiders will likely have a hard time continuing that today. The Texans rank second in rush defense, giving up only just a bit more than 50 yards per game. If the Raiders wish to move the ball, it’ll have to be by way of the pass.

So now we’ll talk about their passing game. The Raiders aren’t too terrible in that category ranking 19th in the league. After a poor start by Jason Campbell at quarterback, the new starter Bruce Gradkowski has given the Raiders passing game a bit of a boost. Gradkowski is more mobile and innovative QB. If the Texans sent Antonio and Mario hard off the edge they can hope to contain him. If not, he’ll find ways to make plays. The Texans secondary will need to play better this week even though they’re going up against a lesser QB.

The Texans will likely go back to what they do best. Expect a big running day by Foster and minimal passing with Andre Johnson out. On defense, the Texans should look to contain Gradkowski the pass before thinking about stuffing their run.

Texans win 31-13

Topics: Andre Davis, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Before The Game, Bruce Gradkowski, Darren McFadden, David Anderson, Dorin Dickerson, Jacoby Jones, Kevin Walter, Raiders, Texans

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