Yhe Raiders ended their two-game skid this past week against the Houston Texans and in the process earned their first road victory of the season. The Raiders jumped out to an early lead and held on late for a 28-23 win. The win handed the Texans their eighth straight loss and improved the Raiders’ record to 4-6.
In Week 12, the Raiders welcome the Tennessee Titans to the O.Co Coliseum in a matchup of 4-6 teams, but before that, let’s take a look at what was trending up and down in the Week 11 triumph.
The Raiders offensive line was able to keep McGloin upright for most of the game, as he was only sacked twice. The rookie was efficient and did not turn the ball over, two keys for being successful in the NFL. McGloin gave the Raiders a pocket passer that found open receivers and was able to move the ball.
It is unknown whether his play earned him a second start, but if Terrelle Pryor cannot go this week, then the Raiders will once again turn to McGloin.
The eighth-year linebacker had a strong game for the Raiders this week with seven tackles and a sack. He provided a solid effort that helped lead a Raider defense that held the Texans to six points in the second half.
Burnett has been a good pickup for the Raiders this season and continues to have strong games every week. Burnett now has 67 tackles, second-most on the team, and two sacks on the season. The Raider defense has been the backbone of the team this season and it is because of players like Burnett.
The linebacker should continue to be one of the team’s top tacklers and the Raider defense should continue to produce.
After having just six receptions in the past three games, the tight end caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Rivera was the team’s second-leading receiver this week behind wide receiver Rod Streater and was one of McGloin’s favorite targets.
On the season, Rivera now has 23 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games. The rookie has been more of a blocking tight end this season but seemed to be more comfortable with a fellow rookie behind center.
If McGloin continues to be the quarterback, look for Rivera’s role to expand as a receiver.
The longtime Raider kicker has struggled this season but seemed to be on the right track after making his last four field goals; however, Janikowski missed a 54-yarder in the third quarter that would have given the Raiders a 24-17 lead. The missed field goal caused the Raiders to be ahead by five points instead of eight points, making the Raiders susceptible to a loss on the final drive.
Janikowski is now 11-16 on the season and has missed several key field goals this season. The 14-year veteran has been dealing with a rib issue the past couple weeks, but must be able to make the kicks if he plans to be out on the field.
The Raiders will need Janikowski to turn the season around, as they attempt a playoff push.
The Raiders allowed their first punt return for a touchdown this season in the second quarter when Keshawn Martin took the ball 87 yards to the endzone for a touchdown. The score tied the score at 14 and gave the Texans all the momentum at the time.
The Texans scored 17 of their 23 points in that second quarter, but may have only scored 10 had the Raiders been able to stop Martin. The returner took the ball straight up the middle without much resistance.
The Raiders’ punt team has done a great job this season and the score should be considered a minor hiccup in an otherwise solid effort.
Although the Raiders earned the victory, the team still combined for eight penalties for 77 yards. The penalties included offensive holding, false starts, unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness.
The Raiders are one game out of the final playoff spot and could make headway the next few weeks against AFC teams. If they plan on trying to make the postseason, the Raiders must cut down on the penalties.
The penalties will hurt a team’s chances to win and give the opposing team free yardage, so the Raiders will need to work on that to be a successful team.