Week 7 is here, and the Houston Texans are well rested after a week off and are ready to take on the next challenge.
That challenge is the Las Vegas Raiders, a team that has yet to live up to fans’ high expectations coming into the season. The 1-4 Raiders desperately need a win, but can the Texans hold them off, and which Houston players will step up to the challenge?
Derek Stingley Jr, DB
Rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. has had his share of up-and-down performances in 2022. Going against elite receivers is tough, but going against Davante Adams is nearly impossible, and that is who Stingley will have to cover.
To some, Adams is the best receiver in the NFL, which makes this matchup very intriguing. Stingley has faced some elite talent in Courtland Sutton, Mike Williams and Michael Pittman in ’22, but Adams will be his most challenging player to cover yet.
Will Stingley be able to improve upon past performances and hold Adams to limited yards? Or will Adams have his way on offense? Those questions make this a must-watch matchup on Sunday.
Nico Collins, WR
The Texans may have a new wide receiver one on their offense. Nico Collins has 275 receiving yards this season and currently leads the Texans in that category.
Collins made a name for himself against the Jags, making one of the most impressive catches of his career. Davis Mills and Collins have established a real connection, which should continue this week against the Raiders.
The Raiders have struggled against the pass. The Texans must take advantage of this and have Mills target Collins more than six times. If Collins’ receptions increase, fans can expect a massive game for him.
Brandin Cooks, WR
Brandin Cooks is the leader of this passing offense, and that needs to show this week. Coming off a win against the Jaguars, the Texans will be motivated to pick up another this week when they face the Raiders.
Cooks has not looked the same since Week 1 of the season. He has struggled to put up the receiving numbers he has done in the previous year, but will those numbers increase?
If Cooks wants to cement his role as the number-one receiver on the Texans, he must perform better than he has this season. Cooks may look slower than in previous seasons, but he is still an elite weapon Mills must utilize. The entire offense has to play well, especially Brandin Cooks, or the Texans will lose this week.