It’s Friday and I’ve got a baseball game to watch, which is just...gonna go great...I’m sure of it. So let’s get to the BRB staff predictions for Sunday’s 3:25 p.m. match-up between the Oakland Raiders and your Houston Texans from NRG Stadium.
Matt Weston: Texans 30, Raiders 23.
The Raiders have a great offensive line. They’re in the top ten in pressure rate, sack rate, and adjusted line yards. Kolton Miller has been a revelation at left tackle after a lumpy rookie season. Richie Incognito and his grey brain have worked out; I wish he wasn’t so mean. Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson are still awesome. Trent Brown is the biggest man with the babiest face in the history of man; I have no idea how anyone gets around with him. With a line like this, Josh Jacobs can get to the second level, break linebackers’ hearts, and cut back to find unexpected gems. And with pass protection, like top five pass protection, Derek Carr can win with arm talent alone, play backyard football, and take advantage of the receivers Jon Gruden has done a great job scheming open. Oakland’s tight end trio is the Lite beer version of Baltimore’s. From an efficiency perspective, this is a top ten offense. Unbelievable.
The problem is their offense doesn’t run enough plays. Big plays are rare. Most importantly, the Raiders’ defense is bad. It’s another season of no pass rush and horrendous linebacker play.
If the Texans come out and go for it, they shouldn’t have a problem attacking the sideline and running similar play action passes they used against the Kansas City Chiefs to take advantage of their linebackers. Then, on first and ten, not third and nine, they can run play action and take some deep shots to Kenny Stills or DeAndre Hopkins. It’s a shame they traded for Gareon Conley this week and won’t get the chance to attack him.
It’s still the Houston Texans. It’s still Bill O’Brien. Houston’s pass defense is going to be bad, and they’ll struggle rushing the passer. It’s going to be a one possession game. And, if the Texans come out with some dog brain offensive game plan, the Raiders could snarl out an upset.
Mike: Texans 30, Raiders 17.
There are two games left before the bye week. After the bye, Houston faces the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots in three consecutive weeks. If they can’t beat the Raiders and then Jacksonville to ride into the bye at 6-3, there’s a good chance they’ll be 4-8 after that stretch. If this team can’t beat the teams they should beat, they’re going to get clowned on the back nine.
I believe in Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and the rest of the players. Not to mention Gareon Conley, who might just have a chip on his shoulder for his old team...I’d bet him and Tashaun Gipson are calling dibs on a pick-six right now.
Capt Ron: Texans 28, Raiders 24.
This “Jekyl & Hyde” Texans team in Houston has my head spinning even more than the jaw-dropping [kitten] show the Astros are unpacking in the World Series. I have no idea which Texans team O’Brien will put on the field against the Raiders. I do, however, remain confident that Watson will do everything in his power to win if he’s not constricted by O’Brien or other obstacles.
With that, I’ll tilt this one in favor of the Texans by four points.
Kenneth L.: Texans 32, Raiders 15.
For some reason, I feel like the Texans are going to blow out the Raiders by halftime and this won’t be a competition at all. The bonus of being on the West Coast is that this game starts at 10 am... so if we’re up early, I can have the rest of my day back [Ed. note: Nope. The game is in the late afternoon slot, so no such luck.].
I also love this score. Not just because it’s a dominant Texans win, but it’s a score that has never happened before in the history of the NFL. That’s right. It’s a scoragami.
As I wrote earlier this week, the Texans are a superior team across the board. The Raiders’ offense revolves around TE Darren Waller, so if the Texans can put Dylan Cole and Justin Reid on him, we should be set. Oakland’s run game is not that strong, but once they get it going, it’s pretty impressive.
Oakland’s strength is their run defense. Knowing BOB’s offense, he’ll run right into it until everyone in NRG Stadium passes out from boredom.
TexanRevJ: Texans 28, Raiders 7.
The Texans are the better team and Deshaun should have a big day against a bad Raiders secondary. I don’t understand the logic from their end on trading a CB to the team they’re playing that week, but whatever, we clearly need the help. Gareon Conley should get a lot of playing time this week. There are rumors that he is a decent press-man CB, so that’ll probably be on full display this week. That being said, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Hunter Renfrow burns him up and down the field on Sunday; that seems to be our luck.
The Raiders don’t seem to present a lot of potential challenges for the Texans. On offense, Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller are legit threats, but the Texans’ D should be able to handle both of them. Derek Carr doesn’t have the ability or the receivers needed to take advantage of the Texans’ weak secondary. They do have a pretty good offensive line, so don’t expect this to be the week that our pass rush puts up big sack numbers.
I expect Nuk and Stills will both have at least a TD. Hyde will be used in typical wrecking ball fashion to run the clock down all game. Since both teams love the whole ground and pound approach, this may be one of the quickest games of the season. I say the Texans win before hopping on a plane and taking a trip across the pond to play in jolly good Wembley Stadium.
Tim: Texans 28, Raiders 21.
The Raiders are better than I thought they’d be. As phenomenal as Josh Jacobs has been for Oakland, you have to think Jon Gruden is going to have Derek Carr come out throwing the ball in an attempt to take advantage of Houston’s lackluster secondary. I expect to see a bunch of short stuff across the middle and the occasional shot down field. Safety play could be huge for Houston on Sunday.
The reason I give the Texans the edge is that I think Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and ...gasp...Kenny Stills are primed to move the ball against Oakland. Look for Nuk and Stills to combine for three TD catches courtesy of DW4 as the good guys notch their fifth win of the 2019 campaign.
Enjoy the baseball and the football this weekend, and let us know your predictions for the game using the comments section below!