RAIDERS VS. HOUSTON
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Texans by 3
Raiders 0-1, Texans 1-0
Ch. 13 (Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker), 1140
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB DEREK CARR
The rookie, making his home debut, was solid if unspectacular in his first NFL start last week, and the Raiders need him to find more opportunities to challenge the Texans by finding players downfield. If the secondary has to worry about more than short passes, that should create more room in the running game. Carr didn’t look rattled on the road against New York Jets defensive guru Rex Ryan, but the Texans also have a solid defense, even with first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney out with a knee injury.
RB DARREN McFADDEN
Maurice Jones-Drew is questionable with a hand injury, so the running game will rely heavily on McFadden. He has big-play ability but gained just 15 yards on four carries in the Raiders’ season-opening loss. That won’t be good enough against the Texans. McFadden also can have an impact in the passing game out of the backfield or lined up as a wide receiver.
C STEFEN WISNIEWSKI
Carr trusts Wisniewski to make the right protection calls, and that will be key against the Texans, who move J.J. Watt all over the defensive front to create mismatches. Making sure the offensive line is ready for Watt has to be the top priority. How the Raiders handle Watt (who even blocked an extra point last week) will dictate whatthey can do on offense.
FB MARCEL REECE
Reece is one of the Raiders’ most versatile players, and they need to find ways to involve him more, especially in the passing game. Reece is a matchup problem for linebackers (he’s too fast) and defensive backs (he’s too big). The Raiders lack playmakers at wide receiver, so using Reece more would help the passing offense.
LB KHALIL MACK
Expectations are high for the fifth overall pick in this spring’s NFL draft. Mack had six tackles in his regular-season debut, but the Raiders would love for him to be more than solid. They need Mack to be spectacular, which means causing problems as a pass rusher and flying around the field to make impact plays when he’s not going after the quarterback. Coaches said Mack had his best week of practice as a pro during the week, so that could mean big things on Sunday against the Texans.
• Out: CB Taiwan Jones (foot).
RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), LB Kaluka Maiava (illness), T Matt McCants (knee), LB Nick Roach (concussion).
CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee).
LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), S Shiloh Keo (calf).
DE J.J. Watt (ankle), CB Arlandis Bouye (shoulder), T John Clabo (ankle), LB Brian Cushing (ankle), RB Arian Foster (ribs), DE Timothy Jamison (groin), CB Elbert Mack (foot), LB Mike Mohamed (quadriceps), C Christopher Myers (foot), T Derek Newton (elbow), DT Louis Nix (wrist), RB Jay Prosch (hand), G Xavier Su’a-Filo (back), TE Garrett Graham (back), WR Andre Johnson (ankle), CB Johnathan Joseph (foot).
|Sept. 7||at N.Y. Jets||L, 19-14|
|Sept. 14||Houston||1:25 p.m.|
|Sept. 21||at New England||10 a.m.|
|Sept. 28||vs. Miami (London)||10 a.m.|
|Oct. 12||vs. San Diego||1:05 p.m.|
|Oct. 19||Arizona||1:25 p.m.|
|Oct. 26||at Cleveland||1:25 p.m.|
|Nov. 2||at Seattle||1:25 p.m.|
|Nov. 9||Denver||1:05 p.m.|
|Nov. 16||at San Diego||1:05 p.m.|
|Nov. 20||Kansas City||5:25 p.m.|
|Nov. 30||at St. Louis||10 a.m.|
|Dec. 7||vs. 49ers||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 14||at Kansas City||10 a.m.|
|Dec. 21||vs. Buffalo||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 28||at Denver||1:25 p.m.|