coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 11/11/2013 10:37 AM in NFL

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans: Preview and Pick

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans: Preview and Pick

The Houston Texans are all but done for the season. After a difficult loss to the Arizona Cardinals and the fact that their star running back Arian Foster is out for the season, the Texans will have one eye on the future for the rest of the season. Although it should be noted that the game in week 11 against the Oakland Raiders could provide this team with their best chance to win the last few weeks.

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game will favor the home team as the Texans still play well at home. However, it is unclear if the early betting will favor the Texans or the Raiders as both teams have disappointed football handicappers this season. The Raiders seem to have the better well rounded team, but the Texans have more talent. The latest line will tell the story for this game, so check the odds at the top rated online sportsbooks.

If the Raiders want to win they need to work on their pass coverage. The Giants recorded three sacks when sending at least five pass rushers for the second game in a row Sunday. The Giants have recorded a sack 25 percent of the time using such pressure the past two games after recording two sacks on 114 drop backs with at least five rushers the first seven games (1.8 percent). It may be late, but the Texans are getting good play at quarterback. Case Keenum completed 9-of-10 attempts for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns after play-action fakes on Sunday despite Houston rushing for only 76 yards. If he can do this against the Raiders, the Texans may win.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal that the Texans have a chance to win this game. Oakland is 0-5 straight up in its last 5 games on the road and 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last 7 games when playing Houston. Oakland is 4-14 straight up in its last 18 games, but Houston is 2-4 straight up in its last 6 games at home. The total has gone under in 12 of Oakland's last 16 games, but the total has gone over in 4 of Houston's last 5 games at home. Houston is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games, 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home but Houston is 15-8 straight up in its last 23 games at home.

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/12/2013 04:08 PM

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor could require rest to recover from a knee injury that limited his ability to run in a 24-20 loss to the New York Giants Sunday.

"It was obvious there wasn't that explosiveness that we had seen out him," coach Dennis Allen said. "I will sit down and visit with Terrelle a little bit more and find out exactly where he is physically."

The Raiders play at Houston on Sunday. If Pryor is unable to play, former Penn State walk-on Matt McGloin, signed as an undrafted free agent during the summer, could get his first NFL start.

Pryor left a one-sided loss to the Philadelphia Eagles the week before with a knee strain that was considered no big deal. Allen said Pryor was coming out of the game anyway, and he practiced without limitations during the week.

Pryor's ability to run was clearly compromised from the outset. He was good enough to evade pressure on occasion but the burst that makes him special in the open field was missing.

"When I woke up this morning, I knew I was going to have trouble," Pryor said afterward. "It was definitely confirmed in the game. It was confirmed in warm-up sessions."

Pryor finished 11 of 26 for 122 yards. He had some dropped passes but also failed to see open receivers. His 19 yards rushing on five carries was his low output for the season.

It was something the Raiders didn't see coming during the week of practice, and whatever issues Pryor had during warm-ups weren't relayed to Allen.

"That was never expressed to me," Allen said Monday. "But listen, I watched the game. You could tell he wasn't totally 100 percent. So we've got to talk about it. We've got to make sure that if he's healthy enough to go, then he's up and can go and be effective for us."

The underlying concern is that shorn of the super-charged mobility, Pryor is something less than extraordinary. As it is, he has completed less than 54 passes in each of his last four games and has one touchdown pass and eight interceptions.

Allen said he didn't believe Pryor's knee to be the biggest issue in the game, the translation being there were plays to be made in the passing game and the Raiders didn't make them.

Not all of which is Pryor's fault, Allen said.

"We've got to continue to work to improve in our passing game," Allen said. "Everybody is involved in that. Protection is involved in that. Routes are involved in that. The quarterback is involved in that.

"That's something we've got to continue to work on to improve because we've got to be able to throw the ball effectively to have success offensively in this league."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/12/2013 04:09 PM

The Houston Texans are expected to release safety Ed Reed on Tuesday after the veteran spent less than one season with the club.

While the Texans haven't officially made the move, the Houston Chronicle is reporting the release and Reed seems to know his fate, tweeting "Thanks to the Texans! And the City of HTown!" on Tuesday.

Reed signed a three-year, $15-million deal with the Texans in the off-season. However, injuries and off-season surgery denied him time on the field at the beginning of the year. He saw his first action with the club in Week 3 and recently lost his starting job.

After Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Reed was critical of the Texans coaching staff, saying the team was "outplayed" and "outcoached." Reed played just 12 snaps in the game.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/13/2013 03:16 PM

Houston's Gary Kubiak will coach the Texans on Sunday against Oakland after missing the last game recovering from a mini-stroke.

Kubiak, who returned to work on Monday, spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since collapsing on the field at halftime in Houston's loss to Indianapolis on Nov. 2.

He says that doctors have limited his work this week, but that he will lead the team when the Texans try to break a franchise-record seven-game losing streak against the Raiders.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/14/2013 01:16 PM

Two weeks after suffering a mini-stroke, Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects to return to the sidelines.

Kubiak has a bevy of arduous tasks in Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, most notably trying to prevent the Texans from extending a franchise-worst losing streak to eight games.

Kubiak returned to work on a limited basis Monday - eight days after he collapsed at halftime of a 27-24 loss to Indianapolis - and was back at practice Wednesday.

"It just feels great to be back," he said. "You have a true appreciation for the opportunity that you have and the opportunity to be around the players ... and the chance to do my job again.

"I'm on kind of a different schedule - kind of hard to adjust to, but I'm adjusting to it. I'm listening to (the doctors)."

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips led the team in Kubiak's absence this past Sunday, and the Texans (2-7) were edged 27-24 by Arizona for a seventh straight defeat.

"I wasn't able to watch the whole thing," Kubiak said. "I watched parts of it. Very tough. I hurt with them. It was just hard to watch. It's hard to sit there and watch a football game when you've been there the whole time for the last 30 years."

That performance led to some disparaging comments from nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed and he was cut Tuesday in the middle of a lackluster season in which he lost his starting job. Houston also placed another Pro Bowler, running back Arian Foster, on injured reserve.

Foster sat out against Arizona because of an injured back and was slated to undergo season-ending surgery this week. His replacement, Ben Tate, gained 56 yards on 15 carries while dealing with four broken ribs.

The Texans couldn't hold a three-point halftime advantage last Sunday and Case Keenum's 5-yard pass to Andre Johnson with 4:34 remaining was the only scoring play in the final two quarters. That came after Houston blew a 21-3 halftime lead in the loss to Indianapolis on Nov. 3.

"Maybe it's our mindset. I'm not really sure," Tate said of the second-half struggles. "Maybe we've just got to learn to put our foot on the gas."

Keenum had three TDs in his third start since replacing Matt Schaub but completed a season-low 51.2 percent of his passes for 201 yards.

"This is probably the most frustrating," Johnson said. "I guess because you have the team. You have the pieces in place and for some reason, we just can't get it done. You just wish things could be better."

The Texans will try to take a step back toward respectability against the AFC's only winless road team. Oakland (3-6) suffered its fourth defeat away from home last Sunday, 24-20 to the New York Giants.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor played with a sprained ligament in his right knee, and the Raiders gained a season-low 213 yards.

"I think it was obvious that there wasn't that explosiveness that we had seen out of him prior to the injury," coach Dennis Allen said. "I'll sit down and visit with Terrelle a little bit more to find out exactly where he is, physically. It wasn't something that we thought would be a big factor going into the game, but obviously it was a factor."

Pryor has completed just 50.8 percent of his passes in his four games since Oct. 13, the lowest connection rate among quarterbacks who've had at least 90 attempts. He's also totaled eight interceptions to just one touchdown over that stretch.

Pryor has tried to make up for that deficiency by running for 275 yards and two TDs but was limited to a season-low 19 yards on five carries last Sunday.

If Pryor can't go, the Raiders could give undrafted rookie Matt McGloin his first NFL start. He completed seven of 15 passes for 87 yards in his only appearance, a 49-20 loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 3.

"If you're injured and can't help the football team, it's best that we have somebody else in there," Allen said. "When you watch the game, I didn't look at it and think it was really the limitation that held us back."

The last time the Raiders faced the Texans, a 25-20 win on Oct. 9, 2011, Pryor was serving the final contest of a five-game suspension as a rookie for violations he committed at Ohio State. Oakland picked off Schaub twice for only its second victory in seven all-time meetings.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/15/2013 12:58 PM

Expected to have head coach Gary Kubiak back on the sidelines, the Houston Texans try to snap the longest losing streak in franchise history this Sunday when they host an Oakland Raiders club that has not won on the road in over a year.

Coming off consecutive AFC South titles that netted the first two playoff appearances in club history, the Texans picked up right where they left off by opening the season 2-0. However, things have gone down hill since, with Houston having dropped seven in a row for the first time since entering the league ahead of the 2002 campaign.

The Texans were without running back Arian Foster and Kubiak last Sunday in Arizona, where they dropped a 27-24 decision to the Cardinals. Foster was out with a back issue that landed him on injured reserve this past Tuesday, while Kubiak was away from the club after suffering a mini-stroke during halftime of Houston's Week 9 loss to Indianapolis.

Kubiak, though, returned to the practice field on Wednesday and should be able to resume coaching duties this weekend barring a setback.

"Yeah, all my indications (are) that I will be able to," Kubiak said on Wednesday. "I had a big appointment (Tuesday). I talked to (doctors) yesterday and, if everything goes well this week, yes, I will. I feel great today. I don't foresee any reason why I won't be doing it."

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took over head coach duties this past weekend, but the results stayed the same. Houston failed to hold a halftime lead, giving up 13 straight points after the break before Case Keenum connected on a five-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson with 4:34 to play.

"It's obviously upsetting to all of us," Phillips said of the losing streak. "The team is going to stick together, I can tell you that. They're going to come back and work hard and try to do the right things to change."

Keenum, in his third straight start over Matt Schaub, threw for 201 yards with three touchdown passes, giving him seven scores to zero interceptions. Two of his scoring throws went to Johnson, while tight end Ryan Griffin also caught a touchdown pass.

Defensive end J.J. Watt recorded a sack, giving up 6 1/2 on the season, and also forced two fumbles that he recovered, but the Texans offense only logged 235 yards.

Veteran safety Ed Reed, having lost playing time to third-year man Shiloh Keo, had some choice words for the club after the game.

"Arizona played their best ball. We played really well outside of certain situations. Certain situations, we just got outplayed and outcoached," said Reed.

That won't be a concern for the veteran safety anymore as he was released by the club during the week.

The Raiders don't look as though they will be snapping their 10-year playoff drought as they come into the game 3-6 and in last place in the AFC West. Road struggles continue to plague the team as they have lost eight straight as the guest -- 0-4 this season -- since a victory in Kansas City on Oct. 28 of last year.

Oakland lost its second straight overall this past weekend, falling 24-20 to the hosting New York Giants.

Turnovers hindered the offense as Terrell Pryor's interception in the third quarter led to New York's go-ahead score and he also fumbled to derail Oakland's last series.

Pryor did account for the Raiders' lone offensive touchdown with a one-yard run less than a minute into the game, but completed just 11-of-26 passes for 122 yards.

"Obviously I didn't have a great game," Pryor said. "A lot of fingers easily could be pointed at me. I understand that. We understand that. We just have to move forward."

With Darren McFadden out with a hamstring injury, Rashad Jennings ran for 88 yards on 20 carries, while Tracy Porter returned an interception 43 yards for a score late in the first half.

The Raiders will try to snap their road slide in Houston, where they have split four all-time meetings with the Texans.

Oakland trails in the all-time series 5-2, but won the most recent encounter 25-20 on Oct. 9, 2011 in Houston. That victory came just one day after former owner Al Davis passed away.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/15/2013 12:58 PM

Houston has the league's top-ranked defense (280.0 yards per game) and is only giving up 166.6 yards per game through the air, best in all of football. However, the Texans rank just 28th in giving up 27.6 points per game.

The defense has been without linebacker Brian Cushing because of a season- ending knee injury and saw linebacker Joe Mays (oblique) and cornerback Kareem Jackson (rib) get nicked up versus the Cardinals.

Even with safety Danieal Manning already lost for the season because of a fibula injury, the same ailment that cost tight end Owen Daniels his season in early October, the Texans still parted ways with the veteran Reed, a free agent signing this past offseason.

Reed signed a three-year, $15 million deal, but offseason surgery kept him off the field until Week 3. He had just 16 tackles, while Keo has logged 31 stops with an interception and safety D.J. Swearinger picked off his first career pass last weekend.

"Everybody has their own feelings about what's happening. They have their own ideas about what's happening or didn't happen," Phillips said on Monday. "We try to keep everything in house. That's our policy here and that's what we try to do and that's what I'm going to do."

On Wednesday, Kubiak said Reed's release was due to a diminished role and that he thought it would be fair to give the veteran a chance to play somewhere else.

Then there is the three-time Pro Bowler Foster, who has run for 542 yards with a touchdown this season but was forced out of action two weekends ago versus Indianapolis due to a back issue. He was slated for surgery this week.

Ben Tate ran for 56 yards on 15 carries versus the Cardinals, but is playing through a rib injury.

The Raiders have their own issues in the backfield with McFadden plagued by a nagging hamstring injury that forced him out of a loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 3 early.

But Jennings has been solid the past two weeks, running for 102 yards with a score versus the Eagles and adding seven receptions for 74 yards. He caught two passes against the Giants.

"It's a production business and when he's had the opportunity to go in there, he's produced. And when you do that you get more opportunities. So I was very pleased with the way he ran the football in the game the other day," Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said.

Allen also has a decision to make on Pryor, who said after the loss to the Giants that his knee is banged up. Pryor has managed to appear in eight of Oakland's nine games this season despite the issue, but does not have a passing touchdown in three straight weeks with five interceptions over that time.

"I think it was obvious that there wasn't that explosiveness that we had seen out of him prior to the injury," Allen noted on Monday. "I'll sit down and visit with Terrelle a little bit more to find out exactly where he is, physically. It wasn't something that we thought would be a big factor going into the game, but obviously it was a factor."

Neither Pryor or McFadden practiced on Wednesday. Matt McGloin would start if Pryor can't go this weekend.

Pryor has run for 504 yards this season, 26 shy of passing Rich Gannon's 2000 single-season club record.

Oakland's 16th-ranked defense was able to get some turnovers versus the Giants, recovering one of two forced fumbles in addition to the pick six. The Raiders also came away with three sacks, getting one each from defensive tackle Vance Walker and linebacker Sio Moore. The duo have combined for 6 1/2 of Oakland's 26 sacks on the season and Moore has 3 1/2 sacks in his past four games.

yisman Posts:836 Followers:68
11/15/2013 02:37 PM

McGloin is expected to start at QB for Oakland.

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