Tony Pashos, Mike Brisiel
While all season long it has been the left side of the Raiders' line that has gotten all the criticism, the right side was due for a bad game of their own. It was Pashos who struck first when he gave up a tackle for loss in the second quarter. Then on J.J. Watt's worked over Pashos for a sack. That's when Dennis Allen replaced him with Menelik Watson.
In the midst of this was Brisiel's bad day. He first was called for unnecessary roughness when he had a late block that was very much not part of the play on an 8-yard end around by Streater. Streater was all the way on the left side of the field and Brisiel took an ill-advised shot at a defender near the middle of the field. The penalty cost the Raiders 15 yards and killed a once promising drive. He then gave up a tackle for loss on a screen play to end the first half. Early in the third quarter, he was called for holding with the Raiders in the red zone looking to score.
Early in the fourth quarter, Watson left the game hurt which meant Pashos returned at right tackle. And with that return, it was the return of JJ Watt to the Raiders' backfield. Late in the fourth quarter, with the Raiders in third and ten, trying to sustain a drive and preserve the win, Watt beat Pashos again. Despite holding Watt, Pashos still managed to give up the sack and a loss of 11. The holding was, of course, declined and the Raiders had to punt it back to the Texans with plenty of time for them to march downfield for the score - which they very nearly did just that.
The funny thing about two offensive linemen sharing the Top Buster spot is from outward appearances the offensive line seemed to play quite well. A closer study reveals otherwise. McGloin was still very much under pressure in this game. In fact, his pressure percentage was highest in the league this week according to Pro Football Focus. Just because he didn't flee the pocket constantly or take a lot of sacks doesn't mean he wasn't under pressure. It just means he stood in the pocket and made quick decisions to neutralize the rush.
Of the five runs the Raiders had to their side of the line, three of them were stuffed (-1, 1, and 2 yards). The right side of the line made things difficult this week in both the run and pass game Sunday even if things seemed to go pretty well.
Things started out really well for Jenkins. His first two plays, he raced up to make a tackle for loss. His overall numbers look good as well, finishing with a team-leading 12 tackles. But it's how he got most those tackles that land him as a Buster. The Raiders gave up quite a few long passes in this game and many of them were credited to Jenkins.
We pick things up at the beginning of the second quarter where on first down he gave up a 34-yard catch. Three plays later, the Texans had their first touchdown. He would give up two more catches for 10 yards the remainder of the quarter, the final catch put the Texans just inside field goal range where they took the lead heading into half time.
Jenkins would give up another couple catches for 16 yards in the third quarter. Then on the first drive of the fourth quarter, he gave up a catch of 23 yards and missed the tackle followed by being called for pass interference with the Texans in third and 11 to put then in first and goal at the ten-yard line. Luckily the Raiders defense held and the Texans would settle for a short field goal.
The Texans weren't done, however, they would drive for another field goal to pull within five and Jenkins gave up a 9-yard catch along the way. He also gave up a 7-yard catch to start their final drive of the game which got within two yards of scoring the game-winning touchdown.
Andre Johnson had a field day against Jenkins with 7 of his 10 catches on him. All told, Jenkins allowed 8 catches for positive yards for a total of 94 yards. Consider the two tackles for loss and tack on the pass interference and that's 105 yards given up by Jenkins alone in this game.
He played 43 snaps (59%) in this game and was just about invisible for most of them. The only tackle he made came when the Case Keenum fumbled and his tight end recovered it. The other times Hunter could be seen were not preferable. One was when he was being blocked to allow a 17-yard run that set up the Texans go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Another was when he gave up a 14-yard catch to help set up the Texans' final field goal to pull within five points at the end of the game.