There was no other players on this team that came close to making the amount of meaningful plays that Houston did. And yet at the same time it seemed like he did it quietly. The Raiders only had one sack on the day and it was Houston who got it. He was also added two quarterback hurries.
His first nice play came on the tail end of the Browns first long drive. It was third down and three and he strung out the play to the right sideline then reached out and took down the running back with one arm and tacked him for a loss. The Browns had to settle for a field goal.
Later in the second quarter he had another tackle for loss. Then two plays later he had a tackle on a short run and finished it off when he got pressure on Brandon Weeden and hit him as he threw resulting in a Phillip Adams interception.
To begin the third quarter, he got around his man who was called for holding in an attempt to stop him. Then Houston ended that drive when he got pressure on Weeden again to help force an incompletion to force another field goal. He ended the next drive as well when he had the tight end in tight coverage to force Weeden throw the ball away.
The following drive, the crowd was really in it after the Raiders had scored their first touchdown on a long pass to Rod Streater. Houston kept that energy up when he batted down a pass at the line. A few plays later on that same drive, he sacked Weeden for a ten yard loss. The following drive, he laid another hit on Weeden to force an incompletion.
Houston continues to be a sparkplug for this team. His energy is contagious and a invaluable to the Raiders future success.
Performances like this continue to amaze me. In this game, Myers tied a Raider record with 14 catches which was set by Tim Brown in 1996. He had 130 yards receiving and a touchdown. As is usually the case, many of his catches came in the fourth quarter. Half of them to be exact including six on the Raiders' final drive. Unfortunately, none of his catches had any bearing on the outcome of this game. Even the touchdown was meaningless as it came with :01 left on the clock and the Raiders in need of another score to tie it up. But Myers did his job and he did it well, catching 14 of 15 targets.
His touchdown catch in the third quarter is enough to make him a Baller. On the play, he got behind his man and Carson Palmer put it up for him. Streater needed the ball on his inside should and Palmer threw it more to his outside shoulder. But Streater made the adjustment beautifully and made a fantastic over-the-shoulder grab which he took 64 yards to paydirt. He also had two other catches for 13 and 19 yards respectively to finish with three catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.
It is overdue that Wiz be recognized for his play of late at the center position. He is a big part of the key to the recent success of the run game and he continued that level of play in this game; opening up nice holes to help Raiders running backs average 5.1 yards per carry.
Marcel Reece, Jeremy Stewart - As I just mentioned, the Raiders running backs averaged 5.1 yards per carry in this game. That is they each averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Which makes you wonder why they were not used more often. Reece had 9 carries for 46 yards and Stewart had 7 carries for 36 yards.
Phillip Adams - I commend Adams on his play at corner when he was asked to replace Ron Bartell just before halftime. He was in for about the length of a quarter but in that time he didn't give up a catch and had a masterful diving interception. It came near the end of the first half to give the Raiders another chance put some more points on the board.