The worst record in the NFL last season belonged to the Houston Texans. They used their prized number one overall pick to select South Carolina defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, who was to lend his supreme pass rushing talents to their defense.
Clowney and the Raiders were set to face off when the two teams meet this week in the Oakland home opener. That meeting won't happen now because Clowney went down with an MCL injury in the Texans' week one win over Washington.
The question now is how much his absence will affect the outcome.
The Texans still have one of the better defenses in the NFL and of course they still have the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt wreaking havoc along the defensive line.
Watt was a huge factor in the Houston's win over the Racial Slurs last week. In that game he had a sack, four knockdowns, three additional hurries. And of course, he had to uphold his ‘JJ Swatt' reputation by batting down a pass and blocking an extra point.
For Clowney's part, he played 23 snaps (35%) before he was injured and recorded one tackle for loss.
The result was a 17-6 smothering of Jay Gruden's Washington football team.
Last season when the Raiders faced him, he had one of his top three games of the season. In that game, he had two sacks (the only two sacks in the game for the Texans), two hits, three hurries, and six defensive stops.
Even still, the Raiders pulled out the 28-23 win over Matt Schaub and the hapless Texans.
The quarterback in Houston is now Ryan Fitzpatrick, who last season led the Titans on a game-winning drive over the toothless Raiders defense last season. The defense in Oakland didn't look any better in New York last Sunday than they did in New York or Tennessee last season. And they once again have a rookie at quarterback.
Last year it was undrafted rookie Matt McGloin behind center who got his one win of the season against Houston and couldn't pull out a win over the Jets despite four-straight scoring drives in the second half. This year it's second round pick Derek Carr who threw two touchdown passes in a losing effort to the Jets last Sunday and will now face the Texans.
Clowney would certainly have added a pass rushing threat to the Texans. Then again if you consider the Jets got plenty of pressure on Carr last week and have no standout pass rushers -- certainly none even in the same league as Watt -- does it really matter that Clowney is out? Will the Raiders be able to take advantage of his absence?