The Oakland Raiders come up short once again losing to the Houston Texans 31- 24. Arian Foster, after being held out most of the first half racked up 131 yards on 16 carries and scored on a 74-yard run and 10-yard catch both in the second half. The Raiders sit at 1-3 and need a quick turn around to salvage the season as they take on their division rival the San Diego Chargers next week.
Positives: The Raiders were finally able to get tight end Zach Miller going in Sunday’s ball game. He had 122 yards receiving on 11 receptions and a TD score for the game. When he produces big numbers good things normally happen for the Raiders’ offense. The pass defense was phenomenal again only allowing 192 yards passing from Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub. The Raiders perimeter play has allowed them to stay within striking distance in three of their four ball games as they’re ranked 3rd against the pass.
Not So Positives: The Raiders run defense took a step back in the wrong direction allowing the league’s best rusher to move around at will and the Texans to rack up 249 rshing yards. Once again their ranked 31st against the run, SMH. They must improve this trend ASAP to become a balanced defense. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski put up some good numbers going 24 of 39 for 278 passing yards and a TD score ,and showed some toughness after coming back from a 3rd quarter injury, but his three turnovers negated his performance. The Raiders do put up points with Gradkowski at the helm, but he has to take better care of the ball, especially when their is potential to put points on the board.
Foregone Conclusion: Expect the Raiders to establish the run a little better next week against the Chargers. Running back Darren McFadden who injured his hamstring in the second half had 82 yards receiving, but only 47 yards rushing. Fellow running back Michael Bush only gained 40 yards on the ground. Also expect Oakland to find a way to work their second year receiving corps more into their offensive game plan, as they both had games to forget. Defensive tackle John Henderson’s presence back in the trenches should improve their porous run defense come next Sunday. Division games are normally filled with intensity, so expect the Raiders to bring it because their season and their coach’s work status depends on it.
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Written by Arthur Kai