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The Raiders need to force Matt Schaub to win the game.
Kickoff; November 17, 10 a.m.
The Raiders don’t have an easy road schedule in 2013 and one of the tough games includes going to Houston. The last time the Raiders played in Houston was the day after Al Davis passed away, which started the clock on what would be a new era of football in Oakland.
Despite good season after good season, the Texans can’t break through. The Texans are a team that can win in the regular season and struggles to win in the playoffs for whatever reason. Some of it could be that the team is built around the running game. Specifically, the offense in Houston relies on the zone-blocking scheme that has turned Arian Foster into a star.
The zone-blocking scheme is what sets up the passing game and the rest of the offense. The Raiders should have a pretty good idea of how to stop the zone-blocking scheme since their offensive coordinator brought Houston’s offense to Oakland last year.
Houston’s defense will be a tough nut for the Raiders to crack because they have stars at each level of the defense. J.J. Watt has become the most feared 3-4 defensive end in the entire league, Brian Cushing leads the group of linebackers and Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph are two excellent cornerbacks.
At least on paper, the Raiders shouldn’t be able to do much against a Texans team that didn’t lose to an opponent with fewer than 10 wins in 2012. There is a blueprint, though, and it’s been used by countless teams against the Texans. The Jaguars used in a Week 11 overtime loss to the Texans last season and the Patriots used it to beat the Texans in the playoffs.
It’s actually quite simple: stop Arian Foster and force Matt Schaub to throw. Easier said than done, but it could be as simple as loading the box and having the safeties crash hard while playing a lot of man-to-man defense on the receivers.
Schaub might win the game for his team, but he also might turn the ball over and lose the game as well. If this recipe sounds familiar, it’s because it's the same one the Raiders used to beat the Texans in 2011 when Schaub threw a last-second interception when he could have probably run the ball into the end zone for a game-winning touchdown.
Score Prediction: Raiders 13, Texans 27