If you feel you can rely on Matthew Stafford's throwing accuracy, given his previous middle-finger issues, you can make an underdog case at this market, given safety Earl Thomas' and wide receiver Tyler Lockett's season-ending injuries, and Stafford's demonstrable history of bringing the Lions from behind. Typically, I would say probably, yes. Things are coming together, I'm healthier. "We needed to step up as a defense and play our best game".
Run the football early: The Raiders rank sixth in the NFL in rushing this season with 120.1 yards per game, and they have a nice trio of complementary backs in Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.
Houston's defense allowed just 203 net yards, recorded three sacks and intercepted Cook three times in a 27-14 win over the Raiders.
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The Texans faced a Raiders squad missing quarterback Derek Carr and offensive tackle Donald Penn. NY ranked just 23rd in total pass defense, but Pro Bowl selections Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins highlight a deep group. Miller had 73 yards on 31 carries in helping the Texans control the ball for 33 ½ minutes.
"I'm feeling so good".
Oakland cornerback David Amerson believes things would have been different if not for the team's injuries.
NFL Playoff Betting Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
"Obviously playing at Michigan State, we played in some big-time games there, we were fortunate enough to do that, so I'm going to take whatever I did there and put it to use out there", Cook said. "But they know, at full strength, ain't nobody in the league touching us, man".
Running back Lamar Miller would punch it in from four yards out the next play to make it 10-to-0 early in the first quarter.
Taking the ball first, the Texans drove right down the field for into Raiders territory. The Texans won't have much time to rest after the victory though - they'll head to the road next week.
Which is a shame, because the Raiders were so good an entertaining for the majority of the season.
Houston added a field goal in the second quarter before making it 20-7 on a 2-yard reception by Hopkins. They failed to get a first down on their first 11 attempts.
The former fourth-round pick Cook was finally able to get into rhythm on the next drive, thanks to converting the Raiders first third-down when he found tight end Mychal Rivera for 10 yards.
And that still points to the possibility of a mutual agreement to part ways whenever the Texans are ultimately finished this season. A loud crowd is not a "must" to win this game, but it would help with a rookie QB starting on the other side. So yeah, Mercilus played well.