The Raiders had to feel lucky to be tied 10-10 at the half considering the issues they were having. They couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t catch the ball, and couldn’t stop Jadeveon Clowney out of the backfield.
Also proving problematic for the Raiders was the field. Both runners and receivers were losing their footing consistently, though the Texans didn’t seem to be having the same issues.
The first drive, the Texans moved down the field, converting several third downs to open the game with a field goal. It could have been a lot worse as a DeAndre Hopkins catch was ruled out of bounds just barely. Had he not been ruled out, it would have been a long touchdown up the left sideline.
The Raiders attempt to answer didn’t work out at all. A pass to Michael Crabtree in the right flat was stopped for a five-yard loss, followed by a run up the middle by Jalen Richard that was stuffed for a three-yard loss. On third and 18, the Raiders barely managed to get a screen pass off to Latavius Murray that was stopped for five yards to force a punt.
It was the Raiders’ defense’s turn step up, forcing a three-and-out of their own. Then the Raiders offense also got things going. The big play was a pass interference by Johnathan Joseph guarding Michael Crabtree for 33 yards. Derek Carr finished off the drive with a pass over the middle to Richard who put it in the end zone.
On the ensuring kickoff, the Texans’ return man muffed it, and Keith McGill recovered it and the Raiders added a field goal.
That 10-3 lead wouldn’t last long at all. The Texans answered right back with a long drive, including a 33-yard run by Lamar Miller to set them up at the one-yard-line and they finished it off a few plays later with a touchdown pass from Osweiler to Braxton Miller over the middle.
Malcolm Smith would intercept an Osweiler pass to give the Raiders the ball at midfield, but they could do nothing with it. The Texans would get the ball back one more time, and on the final play of the half, Khalil Mack would get the sack on Osweiler to send the two teams to the locker room tied at 10-10 all.
Among the more shocking stats at the half was the Raiders rushing yards. They had a total of 7 yards on the ground. This against a team they should do well against on the ground.
In the second half, things didn’t improve. On the very first play of the second half Derek Carr threw an easy interception deep over the middle. He got pressure in his face, leaned back and threw the ball up for grabs and it was picked by AJ Bouye.
Once again, the Texans went on a long drive and finished it off with a touchdown. The drive included the decision to go for it on fourth and one from their own 44-yard-line. The drive was also kept going by a pass interference penalty on DJ Hayden in the end zone on third and goal from the seven. They scored on the next play on a Lamar Miller run up the middle.
Now down 17-10, the Raiders got things moving on offense, getting a pass interference as well that put them in first and goal from the 8-yard-line. They would get to the 2-yard-line and settle for a field goal to pull to 17-13. Crabtree had what looked like a touchdown catch on the drive, but he couldn’t control it all the way to the ground and it was ruled incomplete.
The Texans would answer with a drive to add a field goal and bring it back to a 7-point lead at 20-13.
The answer would come quickly. On one play, Derek Carr surveyed the field, stepped up in the pocket and hit Jamize Olawale who shook a tackle and took off for a 75-yard touchdown catch and run. It was a new game at 20-20 with 10:44 remaining in the 4th quarter.
Driving into scoring range were the Texans, who ended up in fourth and one at the 15-yard-line. They went for it and the Raiders caught a huge break with the officials giving a highly questionable spot just short of the sticks on the run and the Raiders took over on downs.
Suddenly the Raiders offense wake up big time, with Carr completing a pass to Latavius Murray who got free up the left sideline for a 39-yard gain. The next play, Carr went to Cooper who broke a tackle and put on the afterburners to outrun three defenders to the end zone from 35 yards out.
And just like that, what looked like at least a 3-point Texans lead was a 7-point Raiders lead at 27-20 with 4:43 remaining.
Bruce Irvin got in for the sack on the next drive to put the Texans in third and ten. They couldn’t convert and opted to punt from their own 44.
Jalen Richard got open behind the linebacker along the right sideline for a 29-yard gain that pretty much put the game on ice. It of course came down to a 4th and one and the Raiders went for it. Latavius Murray picked it up and the Raiders escape Mexico City with a 27-20 win.
After not broaching 100 yards of offense until late in the third, Derek Carr finished with 295 yards passing and 3 touchdowns with one interception.
The Raiders improve to 8-2 on the season to keep sole possession of the top of the AFC West. The Texans fall to 6-4 and retain the top spot in the AFC South.