Line: HOU -3
The Houston Texans had lost 14 straight dating back to last season, but snapped that streak with a strong defensive effort despite missing No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, who will be out the next 3-5 weeks.
The Texans sacked Robert Griffin III three times, and also recovered two fumbles while holding the Redskins scoreless in the final 39 minute of the game for the 17-6 victory.
Clowney had one tackle for a loss, but he injured himself in the second quarter by jumping up trying to deflect a pass. He had arthroscopic surgery on his knee this week, too.
Safety D.J. Swearinger said of the injury, “That’s something you don’t want to happen as a rookie…coming in with a lot of the hype he has; that’s something he doesn’t want to happen. I feel his frustration.”
First round pick Whitney Mercilus started every game last season before losing his starting role to Clowney. Head coach O’Brien said of Mercilus “I think he’s learning the scheme…it’s not the easiest thing to learn right away for some players…”
The Texans also have the J.J. Watt, and he received a $100 million contract with 51.8 M guaranteed. He had one sack, two tackles for a loss, five QB hits and a blocked extra point on Nov. 17 last season in a home loss. He’s worth the money in other words.
The OL created a lot of holes for Maurice Jones-Drew who rushed nine times for 11 yards, and QB Derek Carr was sacked twice, and only three of his 20 completions were for more than 10 yards. The Raiders also allowed 212 rushing yards to the Jets, and the Raiders dropped its 7th straight dating back to last season. It’s the longest losing streak since 2006-07.
Arian Foster had better luck with the rush, going for 103 yards on 27 carries, after having back surgery over the offseason. He rushed or 133 yards in a 31-24 win against the Texans in 2010, but that was when Houston was a formidable team. He may have a bigger game still this week.
The Raiders lost three of its final four games at home last season by an average of 19.5 points. NFL oddsmakers aren’t too inspired by Oakland either, setting the line 3-points in favor of the Texans, a team that won just two games last year. Life in Oakland remains rough.