The Las Vegas Raiders will host the Houston Texans today at 1:05 PT at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders and the Texans will be fresh as both teams are coming off of bye weeks. The game should be hard-fought and aggressive as both teams are urgently looking to win their second game of the season.
The Raiders will be without CB Nate Hobbs, who was placed on IR during the bye week due to a broken thumb that he suffered against the Chiefs. Hobbs did finish that game with his hand wrapped up, but now the Raiders want him to recover. They will need him in the later half of the season.
Head coach Josh McDaniels noted the impact that Hobbs has on the game during an interview with J.T. The Brick.
“Nate plays a lot of roles and he brings a physicality and aggression to our defense,” McDaniels said. “I don’t think you’re going to replace him with one guy, but between Amik (Robertson), Rock (Ya-Sin), and Anthony (Averett) hopefully (we) have an opportunity.”
Las Vegas will also be without their star TE Darren Waller, who was ruled out this week with a hamstring injury that he suffered in the first quarter of the Chiefs game. Despite the Raiders being without two key players, they will be getting two players back. CB Anthony Averett will be returning from IR after breaking his thumb Week 1 against the Chargers and TE Foster Moreau will also be returning from injury just in time to fill in for Waller.
Look for Josh McDaniels to call a lot of run plays with RB Josh Jacobs in the backfield. After back-to-back games in which Jacobs set career-highs in rushing yards, Jacobs will face off against a Texans defense that has been struggling against the run, allowing a little over five yards per carry. Jacobs has been a bright spot for the Raiders offense and McDaniels is aware of that.
“Josh makes some great runs,” McDaniels said. “I mean he sees things that some other backs may not see and God has blessed him with that ability to do so.”
Josh Jacobs won’t be the only running back in the game that has been performing well. Rookie RB Dameon Pierce has been leading the Texans offense with his running attack and ability to break tackles for extra yards. The Raiders defense needs to continue their success against the run they had during the first five games of the season, where they averaged allowing just four yards per carry. The defense needs a big performance to have hope of stopping the Texans offensive ground-and-pound mindset.
Now is the time for the Raiders to put all the lessons learned during the bye week into action and start eliminating mistakes.
McDaniels noted a few mistakes that he observed from his studies during the time off.
“Certainly trying to cut down and limit our penalties offensively, which have put us in a lot of long-yard situations… Our ability to play better in the red zone on both sides of the ball is obviously something that’s going to be of importance to us as we move forward, and we’re going to try and address that each day in practice.”
The Raiders have been sitting on their frustrating loss to the Chiefs for 12 days, and at 1:05 PT, they have a chance to let it all out against the Texans and start the second quarter of the season with a win.
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