Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, RaiderDamus, your friendly neighborhood oracle. The Great Beyond and I have a dilemma, you see, in that the Raiders are on paper much better than they actually are. This is most likely due to injuries to the offensive line making everything seem really crappy, but injuries are a part of the game and Oakland simply doesn't have the depth of talent to overcome the key losses they have sustained this year. Furthermore, the Raiders out of sheer desperation continue to employ Khalif Barnes. I was frankly shocked that he had not been summarily executed following the Giants game. Jared Veldheer's return cannot come soon enough.
The Texans are also considerably better on paper than they actually are, or at least they were before the season when Matt Schaub was considered "competent" and somewhere in he middle of the pack as far as quarterback rankings, somewhere above Carson Palmer. That was before Schaub came down with color blindness and started throwing passes to the other team. I hate to break it to Mr. Schaub, but those touchdowns you threw to those safeties do not actually count as touchdowns on your stat sheet. You do not get bonus points for throwing a beautiful spiral right into the hands of Tremaine Brock or Richard Sherman.
The Texans' defense, led by J.J.Watt (who is an actual grizzly bear) and noted steroid offender Brian Cushing, has been okay this year. They did sign Ed Reed to play safety, but he is aged and has been passed by some younger players in the Texans secondary for playing time. The defense isn't the solution to the Texans' woes, but it isn't the problem. The problem is quarterback play. Houston hasn't invested a first-round pick in a quarterback since David Carr, whom the Texans promptly murdered. Unless Case Keenum proves to be the second coming of Dan Fouts I suspect that little streak will be ending next spring.
Gary Kubiak will be returning to the sidelines this week for Houston as head coach.Anytime you hear the words "Wade Phillips" and "interim basis" in the same sentence in conjunction with your favorite team, you're gonna have a bad time. Kubiak suffered a "miniature stroke", which is a phrase meaning "a stroke that happens to someone else". When you have a stroke AT WORK, that means that God is telling you to go the hell home and lay down. Given the nature of football head coaching workloads I am surprised this sort of thing does not happen more often. Hopefully Kubiak will continue his recovery long enough to see his inevitable firing at the end of the year. Wade Phillips. Interim basis indeed.
So the Raiders and Texans are both good on paper but bad in real life, much like mortgage deriviatives and CSI: Los Angeles. Who can be the least worst? I say it's the team with two really good wide receivers and some semblance of a clue on offense, the one whose quarterback is a card-carrying member of the Rex Grossman 'Screw It I'm Going Deep' Club, the NCAA leader in just about everything passing-related, the team with nothing whatsoever to lose because their fans are all actually Cowboys or Titans fans and they just wear Texans team colors to feel patriotic while they drink their Bud Light and think about how bloody humid it is outside for God's sake this is November we're moving to Wyoming.
Texans win, 28-16.