NFL 2019 (Week 8): Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 8): Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans

By Pete Fasulo

Special to Pro Football Guru

This match-up pits a Houston Texans' team that has scored 107 points in their last three games versus a Silver and Black squad that has surrendered 149 points in its last five tilts. We could be in for a barrage of points in this one, folks.

Raiders: The future Nevadans have been a pleasant surprise thus far this season with impressive wins over the Colts and Bears. Last week’s loss at Green Bay exposed some defensive weaknesses that Houston should be able to take advantage of. Oakland is allowing 27.5 points per game and over 300 passing yards per contest. The Raiders’ secondary has only three interceptions through the first six games of this 2019 campaign. They will need to be better in this game versus the strong Houston receiving corps. Offensively, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr has been solid. He has completed an excellent 74.1 percent of his passes for 1,410 yards and eight touchdowns. His primary targets Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams have out up good numbers. Waller has amassed 485 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and Williams has compiled 216 yards and four touchdowns. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs has been a stud, gaining 554 yards on the ground with four touchdowns.

Texans: Houston, while loaded with a very talented roster, mustered only 41 points in their first 2 games this season. Yet, since then they have been scoring almost at will. They are currently averaging 26.4 points per game. Over the past three games they’ve averaged 35.6 points per game. Deshaun Watson has completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 1952 yards and 13 touchdowns. His current passer rating is an amazing 104.1. Running back Carlos Hyde was bottled up in last weeks’ game against the Colts, yet he has put up some solid numbers for the season with 461 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Houston’s wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills have been racking up the yardage this year. Hopkins has amassed 508 yards and three touchdowns, Fuller has 450 yards and three touchdowns and Stills has 293 yards and one score. Defensively, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus lead a strong pass rush. Watt has 5.5 sacks and Mercilus has four QB traps this season. Houston’s secondary is led by Justin Reid, Jonathan Joseph and Tashaun Gipson.

Prediction: Expect a high-scoring game as both sides should be able to put up points. Ultimately this game will come down to whether Carr can continue his strong season versus a solid Houston secondary. The belief here is that the Texans will prevail and continue to exploit the defensive weaknesses in Oakland’s game. Look for Watson to run roughshod over a defense that Aaron Rodgers and the Pack carved apart last week.

Houston Texans 35, Oakland Raiders 24

Pete Fasulo (@LISportsFans) is a freelance writer covering business, music, and sports. He has written for music publications such as Revolver and Aural Fix. His sports writing career has been resurrected here after numerous years at The Torch and The Long Island Tribune (many moons ago).

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