This Sunday will match a pair of teams looking for some redemption in Oakland. The Raiders come in after a heartbreaking loss at Arizona. While the Texans were thoroughly out-played for the second week in a row while losing to the Cowboys.
One could argue that the Raiders should be the 2-1 team and the Texans the 1-2 team. After an impressive win against the Colts the Texans were extremely fortunate to win at Washington before getting taken apart by Dallas on Sunday.
This is a close game on paper and I feel it is a winnable game for either team. That being said, I feel the Raiders will pull this one out come Sunday.
Let's take a look at the reasons why.
The Texans secondary is awful! If Joey Galloway and Roy Williams can make plays against them, I think Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey should be able to have a little fun as well.
The vertical attack will definitely have some success on Sunday. Look for Bruce Gradkowski to be on the move to avoid the Texans pass rush and make some plays downfield.
The pass rush of Mario Williams is the Texans only defense against the pass and while Mario is "super" he can't do it all.
Sebastian Janikowski missed as many field goals last week as he did last season. That won't happen again.
Look for Sea-bass to get his mojo back kicking at home against the Texans. While I'm hoping this game doesn't come down to a field goal this Sunday, if it does, I'm confident Janikowski gets the job done.
Much like the secondary will have problems with the Raiders wide receivers, the Texans will also struggle defending the pass against the Raider running backs and tight end Zach Miller.
Not having Brian Cushing on the field hurts the Texans defense immensely. Especially when dealing with an elite tight end like Miller.
Look for Gradkowski to exploit this early and often come Sunday.
I respect Matt Schaub's ability to throw the football. I think he's a good quarterback. I also think he's a statue and extremely vulnerable to the Raiders pass rush.
Look for Kam Wimbley and the rest of the pass rush to get to Schaub early and often. The pass rush will be a huge factor this Sunday in containing an explosive Texans offense.
If Schaub gets rattled he will turn it over. That will be a big factor in the Raiders winning this game.
Did anyone besides me notice that Jacoby Ford seemed really close to breaking off a long one in the return game last week?
Call it a hunch, a gut feeling, call it whatever you want. I think Jacoby Ford will be a factor this Sunday. I know Jacoby Jones is a big play threat for the Texans, but I think Ford will be the best Jacoby on the field come Sunday.
I was reading Bill Simmons column on ESPN.com last week and he made reference to Vols fans emailing him not to buy in when it comes to Arian Foster.
Seems as though he was known as "Fumbles" Foster during his time at Tennessee. He put it on the ground once last week and I have a sneaky suspicion he'll do it again come Sunday.
If that's the case, then Gary Kubiak may yank him and go to Steve Slaton, ala his mentor Mike Shanahan. Steve Slaton does not scare me. The Raiders will shut him down and be able to concentrate on getting to Matt Schaub.
Here's hoping "Fumbles" shows up this Sunday.
Hue Jackson will coach his best game ever this Sunday. After watching three weeks of Texans game film Jackson will have a good idea of what to do against the Texans defense.
I expect the offensive game plan to be solid and for the Raiders offense to come up big this Sunday. 30 plus points is not out of the question.
Expect Run DMC to keep running wild this Sunday. I've been thoroughly impressed and mildly surprised at the work he's put in so far this season.
Sprinkle in some Michael Bush and I think the Raiders run game will be solid against the Texans. I also think McFadden will make some big plays in the passing game as well.
Look for 140 plus yards and a touchdown from McFadden.
Nnamdi Asomugha doesn't need help to shut down an elite receiver. He's just that good.
Throw in the fact that Andre Johnson is not 100 percent and it bodes well for Nnamdi to have a good day come Sunday.
If Matt Schaub is forced to look for other options the Raiders pass rush will have an easier time getting to him. I think that's exactly what happens too.
Look for Nnamdi to come up huge, as usual.
I fully expect the Raiders players to take care of business on the field. I also expect the Raiders fans to come up big this week as well.
I don't care if the game is a sellout or not. The fans that are there will get the job done.
With the Raiders scoring at will look for the crowd to really get into this one. If the game ends up close look for Raider Nation to have a hand in the outcome.
As we know from last week, one false start or delay of game can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Expect the fans to make that difference!
The Raiders come out smoking this Sunday and open up a big lead. Matt Schaub, after being harassed and hurried all day tries to mount a late comeback as he did against the Redskins.
After seeing a 17-point lead cut to seven with five minutes to go, the Raiders pick up some key first downs and salt it away on a Janikowski field goal.
Final score: Oakland Raiders 34 - Houston Texans 24