clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Raiders vs Texans preview, storylines

New, comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Thomas B. Shea

It's week two of the 2014 NFL season. The 0-1 Raiders are set for their home opener against the 1-0 Houston Texans at O.co Coliseum. The game is sold out so it will be televised locally on CBS.

The Raiders are coming off a week one loss to the Jets in the opener and the Texans are fresh off a win over the Washington football team.

In the Raiders loss to the Jets, they were extremely conservative and the result was just one touchdown early and a late garbage time touchdown with the Jets playing out the clock.

Houston held Washington without a touchdown in their match-up in part due to two turnovers. The Raiders also forced two turnovers in their game in the Meadowlands but it wasn't enough.

The Texans will be without number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney but they still have the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt who had two sacks when these two teams met last season.

Watt will be looking to make rookie quarterback Derek Carr's life miserable in the same way the Jets' defensive blitz packages did last week when they forced 8-straight punts.

For Carr's part, he will be facing the team which drafted his brother number one overall back in 2002. The team he spent five years attending practices and bonding with players including All Pro receiver Andre Johnson.

While Johnson looks forward to seeing the boy he once watched play junior high football start his second NFL game, he will also be looking to have a big day against the Raiders. And with the shaky cornerbacks in Oakland, he should have his opportunities.

Throwing passes to Johnson will be Ryan Fitzpatrick who is the Texans new starter. Fitzpatrick had a game-winning drive against the Raiders last season as the quarterback in Tennessee.

The interesting dynamic is the comparisons Fitzpatrick has drawn to Raiders second-year quarterback, Matt McGloin. It is interesting because Texans first year head coach, Bill O'Brien was McGloin's head coach at Penn State his senior season in 2012 when McGloin set school records. What this means is Fitzpatrick is just the type of quarterback O'Brien likes and can have success with. For that reason, Fitzpatrick could put up career numbers this season in Houston.

The Texans were one of just four wins the Raiders had last season with Matt Schaub behind center in Houston. He was traded to the Raiders this off-season in what looked like a collision course with his former team. That is until he was sidelined with a sore elbow and Derek Carr showed up big time in the team's final preseason game to earn the starting job.

Now it causes a very interesting cycle of events. Matt Schaub got his first fulltime starting job when he took over for David Carr in Houston seven seasons ago. Now Derek Carr takes over for Schaub and faces the team both quarterbacks spent many critical years of their development as quarterbacks.

Also facing his former team is Antonio Smith who was not brought back by the Texans this off-season and signed with the Raiders. He had a strong first game of the season and looks to prove to his former team he still has something left in the tank and perhaps they gave up on him too soon.

The Texans also have a former Raider on their squad. All Pro punter Shane Lechler who spent the first 13 years of his career with the Raiders signed with his hometown team in Houston in the 2013 off-season.

Lineup changes for the Raiders include the running back and cornerback positions.

Maurice Jones-Drew will not play after having a procedure done on his injured hand this week. Starting in his place will be Darren McFadden with Latavius Murray also seeing some of the workload as well.

Chimdi Chekwa returns this week and he will assume his previous duties as the nickel cornerback in place of rookie T.J. Carrie who filled in last week. The starters will still be former 49ers starters Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers.

Miles Burris will once again start at middle linebacker for the Raiders with Nick Roach and Kaluka Maiava not expected to play.

To buy tickets, visit the NFL Ticket Exchange.