Aug 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Brooks Reed (58) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the euphoria of the Texans first win in nearly a year and the reality your Houston Texans are as of now undefeated has settled in, let’s look ahead to this Sunday afternoon’s match up as the Oakland Raiders host the Texans. This match up was going to featured a number of Texans however, while Antonio “Ninja” Smith the Raider will be playing, Matt Schaub never made it through the preseason. Instead the brother of the Texans first ever quarterback will take the field to try and show Bill O’Brien the error of not taking him in the draft. Here are your Texans three keys to beating the Raiders defensively.
1: Players not named JJ, DJ or Cushing need to continue being amazing.
Last week, we were treated to the best game of Brooks Reed’s career in someway. He was playing like a man renewed at the position of outside linebacker. Was his inspired play due to the new system, a renewed Reed or Mike Vrabel’s genius, doesn’t much matter. Can he do it again against Oakland? Across the way should be Jadeveon Clowney, but he’s out until probably after the bye week. In his place is last years starter, first round draft pick and coming off a ho hum season Whitney Mercilus. He too had a stellar afternoon feasting on the Redskins offensive miscues and playing like a man making a statement. He needs to show that whatever problems he’s had, are no more.
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2: Don’t let Derek Carr torch the secondary.
This young man, has an arm on him. While he lacks the speedy targets RGIII had at his disposal, you can bet the Raiders are keying in on the defensive backfield’s mistakes and will test that early and often. Quick routes with a few deep bombs taken as fast as Carr and the receivers can achieve will be the game plan. The Raiders will try very hard not to let Watt, Reed and Mercilus have enough time to make Derek look like David and spend most of his time piled into the dirt. Quick passes, lots of ground and pound then BOOM over the top passes. That’s the game plan I forsee the Raiders going with, the secondary showed some holes due to miscues, those have to stop.
3: Special Teams Awesomeness.
Last week, the Redskins were the first team to see the Texans full bore special teams unit at work. They were rewarded with short returns, blocked kicks and misery. We didn’t mind, but you can be certain that the Raiders special teams coach Bobby April is making every Raider that might get put on special teams watch every second of tape on what the Texans are capable of. Repeatedly. The Texans long drought of good special teams play looks to be reaching and end, let’s not see a relapse.
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