Things got started off on the right foot for the Raiders as Jacoby Ford took the opening kickoff 64 yards to the Houston 38 yard line. But that great return was wasted when Bruce Gradkowski was strip sacked to take the Raiders out of field goal range, forcing a punt.
The ensuing possession for the Texans, was driven 90 yards downfield to score a touchdown. And the ease in which the Texans offense moved the ball would continue through the rest of the game. The Texans sat their star running back, and NFL leading rusher, Arian Foster for nearly the entire first half for what was being called a “coaches decision”. They were also without arguably the best receiver in the NFL, Andre Johnson due to injury. But neither of the two absenses stopped them from gashing the Raiders for large chunks of yardage time and time again.
The Raiders made it interesting though. After the Texans scored their first touchdown, the Raiders came right back and scored a touchdown on their next possession with a two yard plunge by Michael Bush. The big play on the drive was a 43 yard screen play to Darren McFadden.
The Raiders would match both the Texans’ touchdowns in the first half to head into the lockerroom tied at 14-14.
The second half started off horribly for the Raiders. On the Texans 2nd play from scrimmage, Arian Foster took his very first carry of the 2nd half, 74 yards for a touchdown. In fact, They would score on their first three possessions of the second half. The second score was a field goal set up by a short pass to Arian Foster he took for 31 yards.
Bruce Gradkowski was hit hard to end the Raiders first series of the 2nd half and went into the lockerroom to get checked out. He came back out for the Raiders next series and promptly threw an interception that set the Texans up on the Raiders 35 yard line. They took full advantage of the short field and scored a touchdown in 5 plays to take a 31-14 lead.
The Raiders would get more bad news on the first play of their next possession when Darren McFadden took the ball around the right side 23 yards for his longest run of the day and pulled up holding his hamstring. He didn’t return and we will await to see how bad the injury is.
However, after that big run, Gradkowski kept the momentum going and led the Raiders right down the field to score on a 14 yard strike to Zach Miller for the touchdown. The score brought the Raiders back within ten points with just under eleven minutes left in the game.
The defense came out after the long drive and touchdown to stop the Texans for a three and out deep in their own territory.
Then the Raiders took the ball down to score again. The big play on the drive was a perfectly placed ball in stride to Jonnie Lee Higgins that he nabbed with his fingertips and took for 26 yards. It led to a 39 yard field goal by Janikowski that had every Raider fan holding their breath after last week in which he had missed three consecutive field goals attempts, including what would have been a chip shot game winner. This time he was true though and the fans let out a collective exhale.
The Texans got the ball back up just a touchdown and the Raider defense held strong again. Giving up just one first down before stuffing the run three straight times to force a punt.
The Raiders would get the ball back with one chance to drive down to tie it up. With just over three minutes on the clock, they started with two good runs and a Houston holding penalty to give them a first down. Then an intentional grounding penalty would cost them ten yards and a loss of down to put the Raiders in third and 16. After an incompletion, the Raiders were faced with a 4th and 16. It was their last chance to keep the drive, and therefore the game, alive. Gradkowski dropped back and threw a perfect ball in traffic to Louis Murphy over the middle that would have resulting in a first down to keep the drive going. But Murphy let it bounce right off his shoulder and into the arms of a defender. It would have been a turnover on downs even if it hadn’t been intercepted. And the Texans ran the ball three times to get the only first down they needed to end the game.
Final score: Texans 31, Raiders 24
Raider fall to 1-3 on the season and with both the Broncos and Chargers winning today, the Raiders are now dead last in the AFC West.
|TD||10:06||Derrick Ward 33 Yd Run (Neil Rackers Kick)||7||0|
|TD||06:14||Michael Bush 2 Yd Run (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||7||7|
|TD||00:23||Joel Dreessen 11 Yd Pass From Matt Schaub (Neil Rackers Kick)||14||7|
|TD||06:50||Marcel Reece 13 Yd Pass From Bruce Gradkowski (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||14||14|
|TD||14:16||Arian Foster 74 Yd Run (Neil Rackers Kick)||21||14|
|FG||02:35||Neil Rackers 35 Yd||24||14|
|TD||14:54||Arian Foster 10 Yd Pass From Matt Schaub (Neil Rackers Kick)||31||14|
|TD||10:56||Zach Miller 14 Yd Pass From Bruce Gradkowski (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||31||21|
|FG||06:13||Sebastian Janikowski 39 Yd||31||24|
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-3||3-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|