The Oakland Raiders defense has put Matt McGloin in position to make all of our corky Chuck Norris-esque jokes into a reality. McGloin had two touchdown passes in the first quarter. Both were set up by turnovers that gave the Raiders the ball deep in Texans territory.
The first turnover caused by the Raiders was a tag team effort by Charles Woodson and Phillip Adams. Charles forced the fumble and Adams recovered the ball and returned it 26 yards down to the Texans 16 yard line. The Raiders converted both third down tries on the drive including the 5 yard TD pass to Denarius Moore.
The next Texans drive was a 3 and out and Shane Lechler had to come out for his first ever punt against his former team. Oakland had started the drive well but a personal foul for unnecessary roughness doomed the drive and they had to punt the ball right back.
One play into the next drive came the 2nd turnover that led to points. Case Keenum finally threw his first interception of the year and it was MLB Nick Roach who picked it off. It only took one more play before the score became 14-0. Right away on 1st down Rod Streater broke open and McGloin hit hom perfectly for the 16 yard TD.
The first quarter was all Oakland, not unlike several other games this season. The fast start hasn't always resulted I'm victories, cough Washington cough, and just like in every other fast start the opponent started clawing back in the second quarter.
The Texans scored on a broken play but it was still a touchdown. Their rookie TE got away from his coverage when it looked like Keenum was about to be sacked. Instead of getting taken down or going out of bounds the Texan quarterback stayed in bounds and motioned for his TE to go deep.
Woodson was late in finding the TE who managed to snag the pass for a yard TD. Charles should have been watching him earlier and was at fault for the broken coverage. He almost got back anyway but that missing step from old age was just enough to allow the score making the game 14-7.
Oakland's ensuing drive was cut short due to two dropped passes on excellently thrown balls. The first was Jacoby Ford who was blanketed but the perfect pass still should have been caught. The next play the ball hit Rod Streater right in the chest but he couldn't hold onto it forcing the Raiders to punt.
Oakland's defense held strong on the next drive by Houston thankfully because another TD to tie the game right there would have been debilitating. Unthankfully the Raiders did nothing with their next chance as they had another 3 and out which resulted in punting the ball right back anyway. If there is just one thing we learned by this point in the game it is that Matt McGloin is not scared of playing in an NFL game.
Once again the Silver and Black's defense played well though. They forced another 3 and out by the Texans. This was Houston's sixth 3rd down of the game and the Raiders had stopped them on 5 of them. Too bad the memo wasn't sent to the Raiders receivers.
Oakland looked like they had gotten a first down on their 2nd down run by Rashad Jennings but they were marked just short. A false start penalty turned the 3rd and 1 into a 3rd and 6. McGloin threw a shade behind Moore but the ball should have been caught.
The following punt was muffed by the Texans return man but the ball took a fortuitous bounce. Keshawn Martin made up for his muff by picking the ball up and turning on the burners. He brought it to the house for an 87 yard touchdown return to tie the game at 14. I just said 3rd downs were huge for momentum, and this play just proved it.
With the Raiders reeling from the turn of events of course JJ Watt would finally break out in this game. The first play of the drive for Oakland they had a receiver break open but nothing came of it because Watt sacked McGloin before he could throw. The sack doomed the drive and they had to punt it back to Houston, luckily this time they covered the punt better.
Houston managed to drive far enough to let their terrible field goal kicker have a go at a 51 yard field goal. He was 0-4 from 50 and beyond on the season so of course he would make this one. The kick made the score 17-14 completing the wasting of the 14 point lead by the Raiders.
Oakland got the ball back with 40 seconds left in the half with all 3 timeouts remaining. They wanted to try and get a field goal but after two short passes they decided to pack it in instead. It was probably a good move considering a mistake there would really hurt. The score would remain 17-14 Texans at the half.