The Oakland Raiders are set to cap off a treacherous stretch of games as they go on the road to take on the Houston Texans. The team just finished a three game stretch against the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and New England Patriots. They’re 1-2 in that stretch and 2-2 overall. The Raiders have played well this season, but have yet to show any consistency. It’s tough to gauge which way the team is headed, given the lack of consistency. Oakland has yet to record consecutive wins or losses this season. A road game against the Houston Texans should be a nice test for a team struggling to find consistency. If the Raiders hope to get a signature road win against the Texans they’ll have to be on their game. Let’s take a look at what the Raiders need to do to win the game.
Without his superstar receiver Andre Johnson, Schaub will have to find other options on the field. The Raiders have got to make sure not to make Schaub or one of the Texans pedestrian receivers look like a stud. The team needs to take advantage of the Texans missing their best offensive player and Schaub’s go to guy.
The Raiders defense will need to take advantage of Matt Schaub missing one of his biggest weapons. Photo: Houston Chronicle, Brett Coomer / © 2011 Houston Chronicle
Win the battle on the ground-
Both teams feature fantastic run games. The Raiders are ranked first in the league and the Texans are ranked fourth in rushing yards. The team who can win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball will have the best chance of winning the game. Arian Foster vs. Darren McFadden sounds flashier, but the main matchup the Raiders need to worry about is their defensive line vs. the Texans offensive line.
The team needs to get Jacoby Ford going. Last week he was held catchless. Ford has been injured often this season. Getting him going is not only a key to the game, but to the season as well. Denarius Moore has been great this season, but he’s still a rookie. If Ford can make some plays, the young receiving core that includes Louis Murphy, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Chaz Schilens, should make some big plays.
Consistency will be the key for the Raiders as the season goes on, but if the Raiders hope to win a very big road game before a three game home stand, they need to show up on the road against a very good Texans teams and execute.