Raiders/Texans Preview: What to Do

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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr

On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders line up versus the Houston Texans. Houston, armed with an MVP candidate in Deshaun Watson, look to rebound from their loss. Now, the Raiders’ much-maligned defense gets to tangle with a Texans offense that sees themselves as a valid threat to the New England Patriots. What can the Raiders do to secure the victory? FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs jump into the conversation.

The Raiders face a Texans team that gave up 300 yards passing to Jacoby Brissette. How would you attack the defense?

Aspuria

All over the field with multiple weapons. Use the power run formations and play action to keep the Texans guessing. 

Gruden had a beautifully designed fullback pass (went to tight end Derek Carrier who lined up as the FB in backfield) only for a holding call to kill it. 

Raiders should attack vertically with WRs and Waller and bring the fight to Houston. Instead of taking what the defense gives them, Oakland needs to take what it wants. 

Biggs

If there were a time for Derek Carr to defy tendencies, this game is it. Granted, the Texans possess an outstanding front seven. Watt, Mercilus, McKinney and Cunningham will change the complexion of a game. However, the back four looks prime for vertical challenges. First, former Raider Gareon Conley lies in wait. As a result, Jon Gruden needs to run directly at him. Force Conley into run support. Meanwhile, target him down the field. For his ability, Conley continued to underachieve. The Raiders need to bully Conley. To paraphrase rapper Xzibit, the Raiders need to ” spot the mark”.

Deshaun Watson destroys defenses, what three adjustment should the Raiders implement?

Aspuria

1. Don’t have Benson Mayowa drop in coverage. 

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2. Use safeties on tailbacks in pass coverage. 

3. Try someone else at slot CB. 

Watching the Raiders’ sack leader drop on coverage is perhaps the epitome of Guenther’s hair brained schemes. 

Watching linebackers get torched by running backs in pass game is getting old. 

And Lamarcus Joyner is a liability at the slot corner and not the stout cover and tackle man the team envisioned. That is a costly free agency mistake. 

Biggs

1. If need be, send the house at Watson. While Hopkins exists, Will Fuller V will not play. As a result, Keke Coutee will take his spot. The Raiders need to get home.

2. As mentioned, DeAndre Hopkins may be the best receiver in the game. The Raiders need to give help on his side, at all times. If he does not get loose, the defense needs to consider that a win.

3. Keep up the stout run defense. For all of their failures to deter the pass, The Texans average 4.9 yards per carry. Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson allow Houston to execute a balanced attack. Stuff the run and occasionally sell out on defense.

Granted, the Raiders face a tough road game in Houston. After crossing the ocean to play, they look ready to return home. However, the Colts showed the Texans’ vulnerabilities. By capitalizing on these, a win does not appear far-fetched for the Oakland Raiders.

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