- Opponent: at Houston Texans
- Time: 1:35 p.m.
- Line: Texans by 4
- Records: Raiders 12-4; Texans 9-7
- TV/radio: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters, Adam Schefter), 1140
Three things to watch
RUNNING GAME A MUST FOR RAIDERS
The Raiders couldn’t get their running game going in Week 11 against the Texans – 30 yards on 20 carries – but eked out a win partly by throwing to their backs and riding Derek Carr to a fourth-quarter comeback. They won’t have Carr this time – you may have heard – and establishing the run may be more critical than ever behind rookie Connor Cook. The Raiders will be trying to do so without Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn, who is out with a knee injury.
MAY THE BEST DEFENSE WIN
No defense allowed more passing plays of 20-plus (61) or 40-plus (16) yards than that of the Raiders this season. Fortunately for them, no offense logged fewer such plays than the Texans. Brock Osweiler’s play this season was hardly inspiring – Houston benched him – but the Raiders still can’t afford to let their guard down and get burned. In a game not expected to feature much offense, one or two big plays could make the difference.
THE CARR EFFECT
The Raiders would deny the correlation, but in their first game without Carr last Sunday in Denver they looked flat. Rally as they might around Cook, he is neither an MVP candidate nor the vocal leader Carr is. And while Cook could still surprise everyone, the bigger factor may be whether his teammates really believe they can win without Carr. All week they have vowed that they do. Saturday will show it.
▪ Out: S Nate Allen (concussion), QB Derek Carr (fibula), tackle Donald Penn (knee)
▪ Questionable: WR Amari Cooper (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), S Karl Joseph (toe), QB Matt McGloin (shoulder), G/T Kelechi Osemele (ankle), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)
▪ Out: QB Tom Savage (concussion), LB John Simon (chest)
▪ Questionable: Quinton Demps, FB Jay Prosch (ankle/knee)
at New Orleans
vs. San Diego
vs. Kansas City
at Tampa Bay
W, 30-24, OT
at Kansas City
at San Diego