On Monday Night Football, the Texans will take on the Raiders at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico. It’s been 10 years since the NFL played in Mexico City, and it’s the first Monday Night Football game to take place outside the United States. This Monday Night Football matchup will kick off at 8:30 PM. ET.
The Raiders are coming off their bye week, and are looking like a serious playoff contender. Before their bye week, the Raiders dismantled the Broncos run defense and overcame Denver’s “no-fly” secondary to improve their record to 7-2 on the season. Despite David Carr’s struggles in that game, he passed for only 184 yards with zero touchdowns, the Raiders were able to move the ball through the air in critical situations, and pound the ball with their rushing attack.
In that victory, the key offensive player for the Raiders was Latavius Murray. In that game, Murray rushed for 114 yards on 20 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns. On the season, Murray has rushed for 393 yards and eight touchdowns according to NFL Stats. As the season moves forward, expect Murray’s role to continue to develop. He’s a vital weapon for the Raiders that helps to bring balance to their offensive attack.
The Raiders rise to Super Bowl contender is the result of one man: Derek Carr. This is Carr’s third season at starting quarterback for the Raiders. His play has improved drastically in each year. So far on the year, Carr’s passed for 17 touchdowns to only three interceptions according to NFL Stats. Carr ranks tenth in yards per game and ninth in touchdown passes.
Now, if Carr is the engine of the Raiders offense, then it’s fair to say that the Raider’s offensive line is the body protecting that engine. Without the play of their offensive line, the Raiders wouldn’t lead the AFC West. Their offensive line is elite. They’ve allowed only 11 sacks as a team on the season, according to NFL Stats. That’s the top mark in the league. In comparison, opponents have sacked Tom Brady 10 times and in four fewer games than Carr.
Not only is the Raiders’ offensive line not allowing sacks, they’re not allowing pressure. Oakland ranks 1st with fewest hits on the quarterback with only 21 according to NFL Stats. The next closest team, Tennessee, has 30 and their opponent this week, the Houston Texans, has allowed 57 quarterback hits.
With their victory over Denver, the Raiders look like the second best team in the AFC behind only New England. But, the gap between the Patriots and Raiders is closing, and come playoff time, the Raiders could pose a serious threat to Brady and company.
The Texans are currently leading the AFC South, but with the Titans’ offense surging, that might not last long. Defensively, Houston has played well. The Texans rank 4th in fewest yards allowed per game and they rank 12th in points allowed per game according to NFL Stats. In comparison, the Raiders rank 29th in yards allowed per game and they rank 22nd in point allowed per game. In this regard, the Texans have a clear advantage.
The leaky play of the Raiders’ defense might offer hope to a Houston offense that’s struggled all season to find a groove. Houston’s offense ranks 30th in the league in terms of total yards according to NFL Stats. The Raiders rank 5th in total yards. Even worse, the Texans rank dead last in passing yards while the Raiders rank 6th according to NFL Stats.
Raiders Vs Texans Betting Lines
The Houston Texans’ offense is atrocious. The Raiders defense is far from consistent, but it would be a shock if Brock Osweiler ever finds his groove. At the end of the day, the Raiders should dominate in this game offensively and to a lesser extent defensively. Expect the Raiders to leave Mexico City victorious.
Play: Raiders -5.5 @ BetOnline.ag