The Raiders will be facing their worst rush defense yet. This bodes well for the Raiders. Of course, the Texans could say the same thing, but we know all about the Raiders crappy run D. Let's take a look at the Texans.
The Texans are 18th in terms of rushing yards allowed per game. But they are playing much worse than that. The Texans have faced the sixth fewest rushing attempts in the NFL. They have played the Colts, Dolphins, Saints and Steelers. Not exactly four teams with scary rushing attacks.
The Texans are 23rd in success rate on power rushing downs. Just 25 percent of the time do the Texans stop teams from getting a rushing first down with two or less yards to go on third and fourth down.
The Raiders have the 10th best success rate in these scenarios. That is likely to improve in this game.
They have stopped just 14 percent of all runs for zero or negative yards. This is 30th in the NFL. Remember, that has come against teams that aren't good at running to begin with.
This is going to be huge for the Raiders. For as awesome as they have been running the ball they are completely pedestrian in this area as they are the 15th ranked team in runs stuffed.
The Raiders should be able to consistently gain positive yards on carries. This will keep the team from third and longs and put this offense in a position to keep the defense on their heels and dictate the game.
The Texans aren't doing much better on the second level. The Texans are ranked 29th in second level rushing yards allowed. The Raiders are the ninth best team at gaining second level yards. In other words, the Raiders should have an easy time getting to the second level, and just as easy a time succeeding when they do get there.
And once that happens all bets are off. The Raiders are first in open field yards and the Texans are 19th at limiting them. McFadden should be able to bust off a few long runs in this game.
The one area where the Texans' rush D may give the Raiders some problems is to the outside left. They are ranked first in the NFL stopping those runs.
Get ready for a boatload of rushing yards and highlight worthy runs in this game. It is not out of the question that this game could see 400 rushing yards total.
I am not going out on a limb by saying the team that ends with more rushing yards will win this game.