On Monday night, the Oakland Raiders will square off with the Houston Texans in a game that could have big playoff implications for both teams.
Viva la Mexico City. Estadio Azteca is the site where the Oakland Raiders will be taking on the Houston Texans in a Monday night matchup that could have big playoff implications for both teams. The Raiders, who are 7-2, are looking to keep pace with both Kansas City and Denver in the AFC West as those three teams are in a dogfight for the top spot.
Houston, meanwhile, at 6-3, is the leader of the pack in a fairly awful AFC South. But they can’t get to feeling too comfortable. Not with the resurgent Tennessee Titans playing some inspired ball and nipping at their heels at 5-5. And not with the always dangerous Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts lurking in the background at 4-5. Then there’s Jacksonville, and – oh, nevermind.
The Texans have had an up and down season, to say the least. Their only notable win was a week two victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, 19-12. Outside of that, they’ve gotten fat on the league’s bottom feeders while getting crushed by the better teams in the league – namely, New England, Denver, and at the time, Minnesota.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, in those three losses to upper tier teams, the Texans were outscored 85-22.
This is not to say the Texans are a team to be taken lightly though. Not at all. They’re winning games in spite of subpar quarterback play and behind a strong running game and smothering, sometimes overpowering defense.
Does that formula sound familiar to anybody else? It should. It’s the exact same formula the Broncos rode to a Super Bowl title last season.
This isn’t to say the Texans are anywhere near sniffing the Lombardi Trophy, mind you. This is just to say that there are some similiarties that exist in the make ups of the two teams – more than just the presence of Brock Osweiler.
This Houston squad is feisty and has learned how to overcome plenty of adversity of their own. If the Raiders aren’t careful, and don’t take them as seriously as they should, this is a team that could rise up and beat them. It’s going to take maximum focus and effort for the Silver and Black to get to 8-2.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some keys to a victory over the Texans.