Just win, baby.
That's what the Oakland Raiders were saying going into their away game against the Houston Texans. It was their motivation, their mission statement, and for their recently deceased owner, Al Davis, that's exactly what they did. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't the way they probably had hoped to execute on all levels, but the embodiment of the motto "just win, baby," illustrates just that: it doesn't matter how you win, it doesn't matter how you get there, only the 'W', in the win column matters.
Jason Campbell had a bad completion percentage, and thew an interception. They gave up three sacks and Darren McFadden was only able to get 51 yards off of 16 carries, something that is now considered low and disappointing for him. There were defensive lapses, in which Matt Schaub threw for 416 yards and Arian Foster had over 100 yards receiving.
But in the end, the Raiders went on the road and beat a team that most figured were simply better than them. Just win indeed.
Now, they'll head back to Oakland, where they'll play host to the 2-2 Cleveland Browns, who are coming off a bye week. Cleveland looked decent in their last game, but appeared surprised by the strong play of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and in the end, his three touchdown passes dropped them to .500. Colt McCoy threw the ball a staggering 61 times for 350 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Peyton Hillis got 46 yards off of just ten attempts, and it's clear the Browns were simply caught by surprise.
That isn't to say that the Titans aren't good, or that the Browns should have won, but they managed to execute in many ways while falling short in the end. They're not going to be an easy team to beat, but the Raiders can take solace in the fact that they've got momentum, while the Browns do not. The win in Houston has to go a long way toward building the Raiders' confidence.
It will be a very simple gameplan for Oakland: try and get McFadden going again and get to Colt McCoy. The Titans were able to bring him down four times, and hit him a few other times as well. The Raiders defense has been a point of strength, and the pass rush will be a focal point on Sunday.