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Raiders 2016 pre-camp season preview: Week 11 vs Houston Texans

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Coming off their bye week, the Raiders head to Mexico City to face the Houston Texans. This is a ‘home’ game for the Raiders, which means one less game in Oakland. Though I expect when you look at the crowd on hand, it will have a very home feel, with Silver & Black dominating the stands.

Texans 2015 numbers
Record: 9-7
Offense rank: 19th
Defense rank: 3rd

The AFC South was up for grabs right up until the final game of the season. Mainly because it was the worst division in all of football. The winner would be whichever team could finish above .500. The Texans ultimately took the division and then promptly handed the Chiefs their first playoff win in a very long time.

While the defense was sneaky good, led by now 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt, the offense was not holding up its end. As is often the case, the issue started at quarterback, where head coach Bill O’Brien couldn’t settle on who would be least likely to bumble the whole thing.

Three different quarterbacks started for the Texans last season – Brian Hoyer (9), Ryan Mallett (4), TJ Yates (2), and Brandon Weeden (1). That facepalm worth group prompted the Texans to go all in to get Brock Osweiler on a free agent deal, despite Osweiler having a very small sample size in replacement of Peyton Manning last season. One of those games Osweiler started, he was sacked by Khalil Mack a record five times, including a strip sack in his own endzone. The rematch should be fun.

To cover all the changes on this Texans team, we get an assist from the minds over at Battle Red Blog:

Notable free agent additions: (QB) Brock Osweiler, (RB) Lamar Miller, (OG) Jeff Allen

Notable free agent departures: (OG) Brandon Brooks, (C) Ben Jones, (RB) Arian Foster

Trades: n/a

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: (WR) Will Fuller, (C/OG) Nick Martin, (WR)Braxton Miller, and Tyler Ervin (EDGE, a new hybrid slot WR/RB position we created just for him)

Biggest offseason addition: (QB) Brock Osweiler

Biggest storyline heading into training camp: How does Brock Osweiler do as the new franchise quarterback? Can he develop chemistry with his young arsenal of weapons? Can he adjust to a new offense under Bill O’Brien? Can he at the very least be good enough to guide this loaded roster to some wins without screwing it up?

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Kevin Johnson cementing his status as an elite young corner, Jaelen Strong potentially breaking out as DeAndre Hopkins’ partner in crime, J.J. Watt going on a quest to win his fourth DPOY trophy, and of course this team taking the next step from division winner to AFC contender.

Notable injuries heading into training camp: J.J. Watt recovering from his various ailments, Kevin Johnson rehabbing from a broken foot and broken wrist, and Duane Brown coming back from a torn quad.

Also see the previews for:

Week 1 at New Orleans Saints
Week 2 vs Atlanta Falcons
Week 3 at Tennessee Titans
Week 4 at Baltimore Ravens
San Diego Chargers week 5, 15
Kansas City Chiefs week 6, 14
Week 7 at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 8 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Denver Broncos week 9, 17