Raiders — 7-0-0-7–14
Texans — 10-10-0-7–27
The Texans took care of business on both sides of the ball, winning the turnover battle and beating the Raiders to advance to the AFC Divisional round. They pursued rookie Connor Cook aggressively, sacking him three times and intercepting him twice.
On the other side of the ball, Brock Osweiler played a clean game for the home fans. Lamar Miller carried over 30 times in his playoff debut, and Osweiler found Hopkins for five catches.
The Raiders, without franchise QB Derek Carr, were unable to move the ball for most of the game. Jadeveon Clowney intercepted a screen pass in the first quarter to set up a TD, and Cook never got comfortable in the pocket. Latavius Murray finished with 12 carries for 39 yards.
The Texans now await the results of Steelers-Dolphins to learn their next round opponent. A Steelers win is the likely scenario, sending Bill O’Brien and Houston to Foxborough for a playoff meeting with the Patriots.
Osweiler Rushes For Another Houston TD
Texans fans have little to boo Brock Osweiler about today, as he’s played mistake-free football through three quarters and change. He caps off Houston’s third TD drive himself, rushing in a bootleg scramble from one yard out.
Cook’s Struggles Continue In The Second Half
The Raiders have been unable to move the ball, and are being shut out without the aid of a big punt return. Connor Cook has only turned the ball over once, but he’s been ineffective enough to have some wondering if an injured Matt McGloin is a better option.
Osweiler Throws a Fastball to Put Houston Up 13
After Lamar Miller set the tone for Houston, Osweiler made some nice throws to close out the first half. He floated a ball down the right sideline for Hopkins, who hauled it in for 38 yards to the three-yard line. Osweiler then ripped a slant pass to Hopkins for his first postseason passing TD, sending NRG Stadium into a frenzy.
Murray Carries Oakland Back Into The Game
Aided by a long punt return from Jalen Richard, the Raiders marched into the endzone in just five plays. Latavius Murray carried the ball on four of them, including the TD run from two yards out.
Clowney’s Pick Sets Up First TD
Jadeveon Clowney didn’t wait to make an impact on this game.
After tipping Cook’s first pass on the opening drive, Clowney held onto his next opportunity. He picked up a swing pass, and the Raiders committed a penalty on the tackle. The Texans offense took over from the four, and Lamar Miller punched it in on the first play.
Raiders Gain Two Yards Before Punting
With the endzone crowd yelling, Connor Cook took his first snap as an NFL starter. By the second snap he was in an empty-back set, but had his first pass batted down by Clowney. After a sub-par punt from King, the Texans are looking to strike first.
Texans First Drive Stalls
Osweiler moves the Texans for a few first downs on the opening drive, but nearly throws a pick before the Texans are forced to punt. Former Raider Shane Lechler pins the Raiders inside the 10-yard line.
Stats will be updated throughout the game
Passing: Cook: 11/30, 108 yards, TD, INT
Rushing: Murray: 12 carries, 39 yards, TD
Receiving: Holmes: 3 catches, 37 yards, TD
Passing: Osweiler: 14/25, 168 yards, TD, Rush TD
Rushing: Miller: 31 carries, 73 yards, TD
Receiving: Hopkins: 5 catches, 67 yards, TD
Forget the other 52 players on both teams for one second. This is about two quarterbacks each making their first playoff start. One that was benched, only to be called back into action when his team needs him the most. The other, not even an afterthought two weeks ago, is the biggest question mark in the NFL playoffs.
With Derek Carr at the helm, the Raiders are one of the top teams in the AFC. Even on the last day of the regular season, the Raiders had an outside chance at the top seed in the conference. But with injuries to both Carr and backup Matt McGloin, it’s not going to be easy or the Raiders in their first postseason appearance since 2002.
Much to the chagrin of Cook and the Raiders, the Texans won the AFC South on the back of their defense. The Texans were the league’s best defense in yards allowed, and three starters earned All-Pro honors. The Raiders were successful this season behind one of the league’s best offensive lines, but they’ll have their hands full with former top pick Jadeveon Clowney.
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