After pushing their record to 6-3 following a win in Jacksonville, the Houston Texans will be back at it against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football. Houston’s struggles on the national stage have certainly not gone uncovered here at Battle Red Blog - but for me personally, that’s far less of an issue than the poor match-up. Your mileage may vary. Let’s see how the staff sees Monday night playing out:
Tim: Raiders 26, Texans 17.
Over the first two seasons with Bill O'Brien in charge, your Houston Texans have managed to surprisingly answer the bell in at least one game each year where they were a decided underdog. Witness the win at NRG Stadium over the Ravens in 2014 (KEEEEEENNNNNUUMMMMMMMMM!) and the Monday night upset of the Bengals last year (T.J. Yates rides again!) on the road. Part of me--the part that's still swimming in barley and hops after Kansas beat the Horns yesterday--thinks the Texans could do that against the Raiders in Mexico City. If that was to happen, the Texans would move to 7-3 and much of the doubt about this team would be quelled (for at least a week, anyway).
Unfortunately, I think it's far more likely that the Texans do what they've consistently done up to this point of the season, which is lose to good teams on the road. For this game to break that pattern, I believe we'd have to see the Raiders turn the ball over at least twice; they've only done that once this season, when they lost to the Chiefs. Even if Brock Osweiler protects the ball, I just haven't seen enough from the Texans' offense to trust that they'll be able to keep up with the Raiders' offense.
Chris HDH: Raiders 30, Texans 13.
BAD matchup. At least the secondary isn’t as banged up as it was last week, but I think this is going to be a rough outing for the Texans. I expect the classic football cliche to play itself out - the Raiders will run the ball to open up the passing game, and ugliness will ensue. Oakland doesn’t exactly have a stellar defense, but as we’ve found with other poor defenses this season, it doesn’t make much of a difference for Brock. He’s just struggling right now and I’ll continue my wait-and-see approach with him and the team in general. As always, I desperately want to be proven wrong but we are into week 11 and this team is exactly what I thought they were since the start.
Luke: Raiders 21, Texans 9.
I think the Raiders will just have too much fire power for the Texans to stay close. The Raiders defense is going to be swarming and I think their secondary will have 2 INT's which their offense will turn into points.
Alex: Raiders 16, Texans 2.
For the first time in NFL history, all points in a game come from safeties. Neither team manages more than 25 yards rushing. Additional history-making events include: Brock Osweiler managing the offensive equivalent of the Faggins trifecta when he throws an interception, strips the ball from the ballcarrier's hands, and then loses the ball again on the same play; the officiating squad somehow calling pass interference on a kickoff; Bob McNair punching out Derek Carr's dad at the postgame press conference; and Brian Cushing doing a forward somersault over center in order to block a kick. Brock throws for 399 yards and no picks but the Texans lose six fumbles inside the Raiders 15 yard line.
Mike: Raiders 32, Texans 17.
Oakland has one of the best offenses.
Houston has one of the best defenses.
Oakland has a fairly porous defense.
Houston has nothing but a running game and The Third Coast United Kickball League®™ for an offense.
You can bet Mr. Carr has been salivating at the chance to show off in this one. Night games have almost never worked in Houston's favor, neither have road games against winners so far this year... and this one probably won't either, unfortunately.
BFmf’nD: Raiders 31, Texans 13.
Led by proven OFFENSIVE SUPER GENIUS (TM) Bill O'Brien, the Houston Texans are sure to explode against the Oakland Raiders Monday Night.
Wait, what? This isn't a Ministry of Information post? Oh, shoot, my bad. Raiders 31, Texans 13, even though QB play doesn't matter because 6-3.
UprootedTexan: Raiders 40, Texans 22.
The Raiders have a really interesting offense that works and does weird things like score points, and the Texans offense won't get clicking until they do what they do best against good teams: score in garbage time.
So to compensate, the Texans will go back to their old standard, and favorite of Texans fans everywhere: the all-field goal offense.
Weston: Raiders 31, Texans 10.
Until the Texans play well against a team playing great I don't expect it to happen. With Oakland's run game and monstrous front they are going to go up early, and play keep away. I'm also worried how well this secondary holds up going against the Raiders' great receivers Cooper and Crabtree. This plus, consistent Osweieler incompletions, will make this one not even close. But this is a game Osweiler could play well in, if he was something other than the worst QB in the league. The Raiders' defense hasn't been good this year, they have one pass rusher, and their secondary, despite all of their fancy new parts, haven't played well.
Capt Ron: Raiders 38, Texans 17.
I would really love for this to be the game where the Texans turn the corner and start surging late in the season. This would be a huge opportunity for a “statement” game, but the only statement we get from this Houston team each week is that the offense can't get on the same page with each other, and that Brock has terrible throwing mechanics that lead to bad passes. The defense has kept the Texans alive in close games, but they are pretty banged up at this point in the season. The thin polluted air in Mexico City won't help them against one of the better receiving groups in the NFL.
The Raiders ran at will against the Broncos, one of the best defenses in the league, and even ran the same rushing play 17 times in that game with great success. Denver knew it was coming and still couldnt stop the run. Carr is able to put the ball exactly where he wants it, and is protected by a great offensive line.
This may be the worst matchup for the Texans on the entire schedule this year. I hope I'm wrong, and I'll be cheering for my team to beat the Raiders, but the data just says otherwise. Here's hoping Houston can rise up and change their trajectory.
As you probably expected, that did NOT go well. Hopefully the team has something completely unexpected ready to unleash on all of us tonight.
How do you see this one going? Feel free to use the comments section to hit us up with your predictions!