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Five Good Questions with Battle Red Blog: Stop Lamar Miller, stop Texans offense

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As the Raiders prepare for their Wild Card playoff game Saturday, we spoke with the folks at SB Nation Texans’ blog Battle Red Blog.

1. Well, we know Brock Osweiler is back as the starter, so what HAS changed about the Texans since these two teams faced each other during the season?

Honestly, nothing. This offense still runs through the ground game, and the passing game is still pretty helpless for the most part. Stop Lamar Miller, and you stop this team from scoring.

2. The Texans were 7-1 at home this season. Are they really that much better at home?

In a word, yes. The defense has been great all year long, but at home they have been downright dominant (allowing six points less per game at home than on the road). The offense has been pretty anemic no matter where they line up, but when they play in Houston they always seem to be able to make just enough plays to pull out a win. Even Alfred Blue, the most average running back in the history of the franchise, manages to play better in front of the home crowd. With any luck, that formula will continue this weekend and the Texans can get their eighth home win of the season.

3. When people think about the Texans' top ranked defense, Jadeveon Clowney is the first to come to mind. Is he the straw that stirs the drink? Who else has been a key factor to their success?

Jadeveon Clowney is the obvious headliner, but cornerback A.J. Bouye and linebacker Bernardrick McKinney have both played absolutely out of their minds this season. Bouye has been one of the best corners in the entire league in 2016 despite entering the year fourth on the depth chart, while McKinney had one of the best seasons by a linebacker in team history with 129 total tackles and five sacks. The defensive front with Clowney and Whitney Mercilus drew a lot of attention on a weekly basis, but without McKinney as the cleanup crew and Bouye as a lockdown presence on the outside, none of this unit's success could have been possible.

4. Last meeting, the Raiders got creative by throwing to the running backs to get the win. Was that just a game planning thing? How have the few teams that have had success against that defense done it?

Most of the teams that beat the Texans did it by turning over Brock Osweiler and setting up short fields against this defense. The Raiders were really the only ball club to consistently rip off huge chunks of yardage through the air, but with no starting quarterback and no starting left tackle on the field for the silver and black this weekend it remains to be seen if they can do that again. Oakland's best shot is to take the ball away from the Houston offense and start as many drives as possible in plus territory. If they can do that, they can put up enough points to take Lamar Miller out of the equation and ruin Bill O'Brien's only legitimate game plan.

5. What do you expect the Texans offensive game plan to be?

Run Lamar. Then run him again, and again, and again, and then run him a few more times for good measure. He literally is their offense, unfortunately.

To see my answers to his questions, click here.