Previewing The 2013 Houston Texans' Regular Season: Week 10 (Raiders @ Texans)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The ghost of Al Davis helped the Raiders secure an upset against the Texans in 2011, but there'll be no such supernatural forces to help the Raiders in 2013. Let's sneak a peak at the Texans matchup against the Raiders in Reliant Stadium.

The last time they played:

October 9, 2011 - Raiders 25, Texans 20.

Lots of notable events in this game: Mario Williams tore his pectoral muscle and missed the rest of the season, Lawrence Vickers dropped a potential game-winning touchdown, Sebastian Janikowski set an NFL record with three 50+ yard field goals in one game, oh, and the ghost of Al Davis helped the Oakland Raiders stop the Texans on the final play of the game. Have a look below:

Screen_shot_2013-07-08_at_1

Above you'll see the setting of Davis' last hurrah. Clearly, there are only 10 Raiders on the field, so where's Davis? Your guess is as good as mine. He could have been lined up offsides for all we know. Very sneaky, Mr. Davis.

We all know the turnout of this embarrassing play, but you should check out the highlights and lowlights here, all the same.

The Texans are 5-2 against the Raiders all-time. Woohoo!

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How Oakland finished the season:

Off Yds / G Off. Pts / G Def Yds / Game Def Pts / Game
Total 344.0 18.1 354.5 27.7
Rank 18th 26th 18th 28th

Offensive coordinator -- and former Texans QB coach-- Greg Knapp lost his job after just one year because of the performance of his offense in 2012. The zone running scheme he installed led to the 28th-ranked rushing attack, but Carson Palmer had a surprisingly decent season passing the ball. Like Knapp, Palmer won't be with the team in 2013.

Head coach Dennis Allen seems to have the confidence of general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis, perhaps giving the position some stability that it hasn't enjoyed in quite some time.

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What Oakland has done this offseason:

NFL Draft:

Key Arrivals

  • RB Rashad Jennings, April 11
  • CB Mike Jenkins, April 9
  • DB Usama Young, April 9
  • CB Tracy Porter, April 2
  • Traded for QB Matt Flynn from Seahawks, April 1
  • OT Alex Barron, March 26
  • LB Nick Roach, March 15
  • DE Jason Hunter, March 13
  • DT Pat Sims, March 13
  • LB Kaluka Maiava, March 13
  • DB Charles Woodson, May 22

Key Departures

  • MLB Rolando McClain, April 5
  • Traded QB Carson Palmer to Cardinals, April 2
  • DT Tommy Kelly, March 27
  • P Shane Lechler, March 23
  • S Mike Mitchell, March 20
  • TE Brandon Myers, March 16
  • DE Matt Shaughnessy, March 16
  • RB Mike Goodson, March 15
  • LB Philip Wheeler, March 12
  • DT Desmond Bryant, March 12
  • WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, March 12
  • DB Michael Huff, March 12

Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, who had tons of success coaching Stanford's football team, managed to keep his job in 2013 and now has former Houston Cougar D.J. Hayden. Hayden will fight for playing time against veterans Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins. The Raiders would be wise to bring him along slowly. Charles Woodson will likely slide into a safety spot alongside Tyvon Branch.

Sticking with the defense, the Raiders ranked 31st in the league with a mere 25 sacks last year and have done very little to address that in 2013. Lamarr Houston and Desmond Bryant led the team with four sacks each. Rookie Sio Moore displayed some nice versatility in college, rushing the passer on third downs, but other than that, the Raiders seem ready to move forward with the pass rushers they have now. Short of Richard Seymour inexplicably re-signing with the team, the Raiders have very few options left to improve their pass rush.

Olson will also be going back to a power running scheme for running back Darren McFadden who had another injury-plagued season in 2012. McFadden oozes talent but, sadly, has yet to play a full season in his five-year career.

Also, have you seen their left tackle Jared Veldheer? The dude is enormous.

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Arbitrary, USELESS prediction made in July of 2013: Texans - Apples, Raiders - Oranges

Raiders fans must be filled with hope after so many changes to the roster and coaching staff. I think the run game could take some major leaps, but it'll be remarkable if McFadden is healthy by Week 10 to face the Texans. Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore are pretty exciting playmakers and could take the top off the Texans' defense if Matt Flynn can throw it far enough.

That's about as much optimism as I can stir up for the hapless Raiders. I'll be cheering for Flynn to have success in 2013, but he's going to have a rough go of it against the Texans. Matt Schaub should have a field day throwing the ball against an anemic pass rush and middling secondary. I'm thinking a few players still remember the sting of that loss back in 2011. I'm thinking blowout.

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Best reader prediction: BricAM

prior to the game

Raiders fans will hold a seance where they will sacrifice the heart of a man who’s soul is black as night (Bud Adams), the skin of one who can do no wrong (Brady), the spleen of one who can do no right (Samchez), and the blood of a virgin (Tebow). They will burn these at an alter made of the bones of all the chicken wings Madden has eaten since 1972 and they will summon the ghost of Al Davis to posses Flynn and lead the team to victory.

After all that they lose by 10. Raiders 13 Texans 23.

Post a well-written, insightful, or funny analysis, prediction or rant in the comments. The best one will get put up here.

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Read more about the Oakland Raiders over at Silver and Black Pride.

Leave your thoughts and predictions below! Keep it classy in the comments, and please remember the community guidelines when posting.

Check out Weeks 1-9 of my season previews here.

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