Raiders vs texans
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

 

New FSM Game Preview: Raiders vs Texans – Week 7

Las Vegas Raiders (1-4) | Houston Texans (1-3-1)

Franchise Sports Media

 

Raiders vs Texans
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

After a much-needed week of rest and reflection, the Silver & Black are ready to return to action. Of course, the first part of the 2022 season has not gone exactly to plan, but Raider Nation still has plenty to look forward to. At a record of 1-4 (with all four losses coming in one-score games), Las Vegas will look to continually build momentum over the next dozen weeks.

When glancing at the Raiders’ 2022 schedule, you’ve probably noticed the more challenging games to be near the beginning and end of the year, leaving a “green zone” over the middle weeks. Well, with the Houston Texans (1-3-1) coming to “Fabulous” Las Vegas this Sunday, the Raiders will next see New Orleans (2-4), Jacksonville (2-4), Indianapolis (3-2-1), and Denver (2-4). If there’s a time to get hot, this is it.

No need to get too far ahead, but there’s solace in knowing that a row of very winnable games is on the horizon. As for the incoming Houston Texans, the Silver & Black will need to fight off any complacency. From a talent perspective, Houston is not in the same tier as Las Vegas. With that said, this would be a fantastic spot to put the fear of God into an opponent (and, incidentally, the rest of the NFL). Frankly, it should be the Raiders’ goal to win by at least two scores.

As always, check the 53-man roster before diving into this week’s preview versus Houston. After all, it is now Week 7; Every contest from here on out will be exponentially important. You gotta love the NFL!

 

Previous contests

 

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)

 

KEYS TO THE GAME:

 

Continue to feed Jacobs

 

Raiders vs Texans
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

It is no secret that RB Josh Jacobs has been one of the most productive offensive players in the NFL this season. Six weeks into the year, Jacobs has already rushed for 490 yards (3rd in the league behind Chubb and Barkley, despite playing one less game) on 91 attempts. In Jacobs’ last two outings alone, he has compiled a whopping 368 all-purpose yards while finding the end zone three times: Even the biggest air-raid supporter can’t deny that type of production.

Additionally, the offensive line has seen improvement in recent weeks, and they appear to be having fun exploding off the ball in the ground game. After all (yes, I may sound like a broken record here), getting under center and committing to the run afford you the luxury of controlling the game’s pace while simultaneously opening up space for the rest of the offensive skill cast to operate (you saw Adams’ two touchdowns of 40+ yards in Week 5, right?). I’d love to see the Raiders continue to build on this concept against Houston on Sunday afternoon.


Adams vs. Stingley

Davante Adams, simply being exactly who he is, will bring out the best efforts from opposing DBs, especially the young, scrappy corners looking to make a name for themselves. CB Derek Singley Jr. fits that description to a T. The rookie from LSU has fantastic length and ball skills at the corner spot and has already done well to collect 30 tackles, nine passes defended, and an interception over five games. With similar size to Adams, does Stingley stand a chance against the All-Pro wide receiver?

Naturally, Adams is always going to get his. Even in a season where he has switched uniforms (and is in the process of learning a new system), Adams has already compiled 29 catches for 414 yards and five touchdowns (currently 3rd in the league behind Kelce and Diggs) in 2022. Stingley will do his best to get hands-on Adams at the LOS, but 17 consistently gets the best releases in the game. In Week 4 against Denver, we saw Adams matchup with another talented young CB in Patrick Surtain; The two had some good battles, but Adams ended up catching nine balls for 101 yards. Look for similar battles on the outside this Sunday against the Texans.


Dealing with a less mobile QB

 

Raiders vs Texans
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

After starting the season with a murderer’s row of mobile quarterbacks (Herbert, Murray, Tannehill, Wilson, and Mahomes), the Raiders‘ defense will be left with a slightly more stagnant target this weekend. In his second NFL season out of Stanford, Texans quarterback Davis Mills has given Houston fans some hope for the future. However, standing at 6’5”, 225 lbs, Mills is a bit slower-footed compared to the other signal callers that have matched up with the Raiders in 2022. Still, they’ll need to account for Mills’ No. 1 option: The speedy veteran wideout, Brandin Cooks. As former Raider Sean Smith can attest, Cooks has previously cooked the Silver & Black. He’ll need to be the focal point for Vegas‘ secondary.

Coming into the year, Las Vegas’ pass rush was regarded as one of the most dynamic in the NFL. In five games, the unit hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, but edge rusher Maxx Crosby has continued his individual dominance (outputting 31 total tackles with 11 TFLs and six quarterback sacks). As for Chandler Jones, his slow start to 2022 has left Raider Nation in a state of frustration, despite showing a better effort last time out in K.C. However, Jones has only produced one TFL this season and is still looking for his first sack in Silver & Black. I am going out on a limb here (not really); Jones gets Mills to the ground this Sunday, and the Death Star goes wild!


Coaching matchup

Lovie Smith is a well-respected defensive mind around the NFL, having first established himself as the St. Louis Rams DC before earning the head coaching job in Chicago. With the Bears, Smith won AP Coach of the Year in 2005, followed by a Super Bowl appearance in 2006 (losing to prime Peyton Manning). Since then, Smith has had a tough time finding success as a head coach, showcasing a losing record in Tampa Bay (2014-2015) and the University of Illinois (2016-2020).

Back in the NFL, Smith is tasked with his most difficult challenge yet (rebuilding the Houston Texans from the ashes). With all this considered, I respect what the former 2x All-American linebacker from Tulsa has done in this game, but lean on the championship pedigree of Josh McDaniels. Sunday will pit offensive minds (McDaniels) against defensive minds (Smith), and I see that playing out favorably for the Silver & Black.

 

 

INJURY REPORT:

Below are Thursday’s (Oct. 20) practice participation sheets for the Raiders and Texans …

Las Vegas – LB Jayon Brown (Limited – Hamstring), WR Mack Hollins (Limited – Heel), TE Foster Moreau (Limited – Knee), WR Hunter Renfrow (DNP – Hip), TE Darren Waller (DNP – Hamstring)

Houston – DL Maliek Collins (Full – Knee), WR Nico Collins (Full – Achilles/Wrist), OL Austin Deculus (Limited – Ankle), DL Jonathan Greenard (Limited – Calf), DL Jerry Hughes (Full – Knee), TE Brevin Jordan (Full – Ankle), WR Chris Moore (Full – Hip).


WEATHER REPORT:

The Death Star (aka Allegiant Stadium) is a covered venue and climate-controlled. Outside on the streets of Paradise, Nevada, Sunday’s weather will be partly cloudy with a temperature in the mid-60s.

 

The Silver & Black will return to “Fabulous” Las Vegas for an AFC clash against the Houston Texans, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 23 (kickoff will be at 1:05 pm PST).

 

Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans         Raiders vs Texans


-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Twitter & Instagram at @gps_onthemic

Follow The Franchise on social media

Twitter 

Instagram

Facebook 

YouTube