This game features intriguing matchups all over the field individually and team-wise. The Texans' mega-octane offense will give the Raiders a chance to prove that their number 2 overall defense is legit. Here are a few of the matchups that will likely decide this game.
Texans Run Offense vs Raiders Run Defense
Arian Foster and the Texans zone blocking offensive line are having their way with teams.
Foster is the NFL’s leading rusher and he is getting his yards with consistent positive carries. Foster is averaging an obscene 5.9 yards per carry and his long carry is 42 yards.
Foster likes to make the one cut and go and it sends him between the guards more often than not. Thirty-five percent of their carries are going right up the middle.
Given the success the Texans have up the middle though, the key here will be the health of John Henderson and Richard Seymour.
If the two of them are healthy, the Raiders should have a chance at slowing down the Texans running game.
Raiders Pass Offense vs Texans Pass Defense
The Texans pass D is the weakness of their team. In three games they have allowed 25 catches for 288 yards to TEs.
It’s not just TEs that are doing the damage. The Texans are giving up 368.7 yards per game through the air. With the Raiders WRs now being worthy of attention, the Texans will not be able to key on Zach Miller. The Raiders should be able to find some open receivers.
To slow down the Raiders passing attack the Texans will have to put pressure on Raiders QB Bruce Gradkowski. With DE Mario Henderson bringing his four sacks into a game against a team with struggling Tackles, this is a very real possibility.
Texans Run D vs Raiders Run O
The Texans are only allowing 53.3 yards per game at 3 yards per carry. The Raiders are gaining 147.3 yards on the ground per game. Something will have to give.
When the Texans have been beat on the ground it is between the guards. The Raiders will likely look to exploit this as they have had success this season going up the middle. The Raiders are third in the NFL with six carries between the guards by RBs going for more than 10 yards.