Ok, it was the Raiders. JaMarcus Russell may be the worst starting quarterback of the last decade, which makes the fact that he was a number one overall pick laughable. The Texans shouldn't plan a trip to the playoffs just because they beat a bad team, but at least they beat them they way they were supposed to... kind of. I'll be doing a more in depth overview of different players later after I watch the game again, but for right now I wanted to give my initial impression having only seen it live.
Offense - I'm starting to get concerned about the obsessive need to "establish the run". I understand that the Texans offense is predicated off of play action pass, but if you're playing a team that is shutting down the run but is getting burnt by the pass, why stick to the run on first and second down just to create a third and long almost every series? This is probably what led to the abysmal 3 for 16 third down conversion rate. That stat was inflated by the understandable conservative play calling adopted in the second half to protect the lead, but when everyone knows that you're running on first down you probably won't have much success.
Defense - I'm already prepared for the "it was only the Raiders" speeches, but this is what we wanted to see from the Texans defense. Their quarterback play might be epically bad which led the defense to sell out against the run, but they did the same thing against Tennessee and Jacksonville and still gave up big plays to the opposing running backs. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush was one of the better running committees in the league last year, and are more than capable of hitting home runs, especially McFadden with his 4.3 speed. It would be a feeding frenzy around here if they had given up big plays, so I'll go out on a limb and admit that I was thrilled that the Raiders longest play was 20 yards on a WR reverse, a problem that we fixed later by stopping another reverse for negative yards. It wasn't perfect, but it was an improvement.
So one quarter of the season is now finished. The next quarter will be HUGE for the Texans. Our secondary is atrociously bad in coverage, and next week they'll have the task of trying to contain two of the best wide receivers in the league against the Cardinals. The week after that they'll have to travel to a surprisingly better Bengals team, before playing another resurgent 49ers squad, both of whom have potent rushing attacks (yes, I'm talking about Cedric Benson. 91 yards per game and 4.4 per carry is good no matter how you look at it). The Texans will finish off this block of four games in Buffalo against an injury plagued Bills defense. Given that the third quarter of the season is all divisional games, it's time for the Texans to either prove they're a playoff caliber team or not. A 3-1 record over that span would be huge, although I'm afraid it will be 2-2 and mid-season .500 record.