The Oakland Raiders are set to take on the Houston Texans in a Week 11 matchup on Sunday. Oakland is 3-6 and riding a two-game losing skid, while the Texans are in even worse shape and have lost their last seven games. Houston had won its first two games of the season -- beating the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans -- before things went south.
There were some good teams and bad teams in that skid, with losses to the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams sticking out as being particularly poor. Oakland had a game that stuck out of its own, when the team allowed Nick Foles to throw for seven touchdowns in Week 9. The team fared better, but still lost to the New York Giants in Week 10.
Let's take a closer look at both teams below, starting with the home team:
Meet the Texans
The Texans have been in a bad way all season. Even before Matt Schaub went down with injury, he was playing poorly. He had completed 150 passes for 1,552 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. Case Keenum has completed just 57 of 102 passes since taking over, putting up 822 yards and seven touchdowns. The big surprise is that Keenum has yet to throw an interception.
Unfortunately, he also doesn't keep the offense out on the field enough to really muster an effective offense. And on top of that, Arian Foster dealt with injuries through the first several weeks of the season and is now on injured reserve. Ben Tate is now the starter, and he's actually been playing well, with 455 yards off of 103 carries and a touchdown to his name.
Houston has the No. 12 pass offense, No. 11 rush offense, No. 16 rush defense and No. 1 pass defense in the NFL. Despite this, the Texans are 2-7 and in third place in the AFC South. Something needs to change.
Meet the Raiders
The Raiders are probably doing better than expected this season. Terrelle Pryor has actually managed to look like a competent quarterback at times this season, and provides a lot of skill running the football from the quarterback position. Oakland has the No. 5 rushing offense in the league, gaining an average of 143.2 yards on the ground per game.
It would be even better if the Raiders had some rushing help from an actual running back. Darren McFadden has been injured and ineffective, and Rashad Jennings has been inconsistent. Pryor leads the team in both passing and rushing, but it's his mistakes in the passing game that hurt Oakland the most. He's tossed five touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season.
Local Takes: Texans
Over at Battle Red Blog, they give one prediction on the game:
3. The Texans' defense in 2011 was outstanding. The Texans' defense in 2012, on the back ofJ.J. Watt, was very good, except, you know, against offenses that spread it out. The Texans' defense in 2013, neat total yardage statistics aside, has not been very good at all. Granted, Houston's offense and special teams have done the defense no favors when it comes to field position, but the defense doesn't really stop anyone once they get inside Houston's red zone. Tomorrow, however, I expect them to be better. Given the Raiders' quarterback situation, there's no excuse for the Texans not to be. I'm calling two Oakland turnovers, three sacks, and some semblance of consistent pressure throughout the afternoon.
Local Takes: Raiders
Levi Damien of Silver And Black Pride notes that McGloin could struggle behind a poor offensive line:
He will need to be a fighter to try and pull out the win for the Raiders this weekend. They have lost three of their last four games with the offensive line struggling so he will have to face a fierce rush from the Texans and the reigning defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt. Welcome to the NFL, kid.
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Five of SB Nation's six experts think the Texans will hold and win at home. Stephen White is the only dissenter picking the Raiders. For all of the Week 11 picks, go here.
The Texans opened up as 6-point favorites, but the line widened in their favor throughout the week, according to OddsShark. They could be had favored by 7.5 points midway through the week.
The Texans will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 24. The Raiders face the Tennessee Titans on the same day.