With the game being blacked out locally and the undefeated Colts taking on the undefeated Patriots at the same time and being broadcast on EVERY station in America this game promises to be the least watched in Raider History.
That is too bad because this game should be the salve for all of the pain that the Raider Nation has been feeling since the Miami win.
With Sage Rosenfels replacing Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson still out, the Texans are nowhere near the team that had such a promising start to the season.
That is not to say that Sage is any worse than Daunte or McCown, in fact he does have an 88.1 QB rating and a 6-5 TD to INT rate and heck his 67% completion rate would probably land him the starting job for the Raiders, BUT, he is not a running back and running backs have been carving up this Raider defense all season, not quarterbacks.
Then again, just like last year, the passing defense's stats are skewed by the terrible run defense. Teams are only passing for 178 yards a game (3rd in the NFL), but they are also only throwing the ball 28 times a game (30th).
The Raiders are allowing a staggering 5.3 yards per carry. That is so terrible, to put it in perspective, that no other team is even allowing 5.0 yards a carry.
The Texans, on the other hand are the WORST rushing team in the NFL, averaging 3.2 yards a carry.
Something has to give here. Either the Raider defense will improve on that gaudy 5.3 yards allowed or the Texans will move out of the rushing cellar.
Here are the keys to that match-up:
Jay Richardson is filling in for Tommy Kelly and he MUST begin to make some plays or his rookie season is going to consist of watching Tyler Brayton playing ahead of him.
The defensive line will have to stay home more and spread out the run, push it upfield and to the sideline.
This means that they will have to shift their tactics on defense, because we all know that Rob Ryan likes them to pin their ears back and go after the QB.
Stuart Schweigert needs to get food poisoning because he is just terrible against the run. You'd think he brings a saddle to every game because he just rides those tailbacks for 5-8 yards a carry.
Michael Huff needs to be aggressive and come up and make plays.
If the D-Line is forcing the action outside and stringing out the offense, our DBs need to step up and make tackles.
If "Joe" is healthy for Houston, which all preliminary reports say that he isn't, then he will probably have a good day against this defense. He is the type of runnner who gives us fits. He is strong and plays low to the ground. I can see him making a Stu pancake.
Ahman Green has been absolute garbage for the Texans. he has run for 232 yards and 1 TD on 62 carries (3.7 average).
And if Green has been garbage, the Ron Dayne has been nasty old trash. His line, 226 yards, 1TD, 79 carries (2.9 average). Then again, he probably circled this as a get well game when the schedule was announced. Last year he ran for 95 yards on 18 carries.
Last year the Raiders only surrendered 124 yards to the Texans offense and still lost due to 3 fumbles and 2 INT's. Nobody who turned the ball over last year will suit up for the Silver and Black today. so let's hope that Josh McCown doesn't pull a...well...Josh McCown and find a way to give the ball away 5 times himself.
On the Raiders side of the offense it is encouraging that Lane Kiffin has stated that Justin Fargas will get more carries this week, and I can only hope that the same is said for Dominic Rhodes. LaMont is hurt and needs to be rested.
That's all I have for now!! Go Raiders!!! I'll be at the game, so keep the thread alive!!!