First off, its the Raiders. Theyre led by a QB who is really just Jeff George with a nice earring instead of a kickass mullet. But give the defense some credit. Sure, the Raiders are horrible, but they had their worst game of the year offensively, converting 13% or so of their 3rd downs against a defense that has struggled to stop the powerful Jets and Titans attack. Eeek. There were a couple changes this week: Bernard Pollard started at SS, a tactical move that looks to be temporarily permanent. Glover Quin started over Fred Bennett, both for his physicality and the plain simple truth that Bennett was playing poorly. Im starting to wonder how good he really was his rookie year, maybe he was just good relative to Lewis Sanders and Earthwin Moreland. Unfortunately, the best safety in Texans history succumbed to the flu, though Barber stepped up his game in place of the reportedly immobile Eugene Wilson. He played well, albeit against a pretty lethargic offense. Ive been a fan of his since Week 17 last season against the Bears. If only Antonio Smith were just a smidge faster. Just a tiny bit. Hes certainly no Anthony Weaver, hes been wreaking havoc opposite Mario this season. There have been times where he seemingly disappears, but he makes sure the QB knows of his presence. If he was just a little bit faster, hed easily have 4 sacks by now. He and Mario have been just inches or feet away from turning a QB pressure into a sack. While Cushing and his Napoleon Dynamite karate skills has gotten most of the attention for the safety, that was Antonio Smiths play. Fargas ran into his own man, who was pushed back a few yards by the former Cardinal. What really impressed me on Sunday was the run defense. I, like most of you fantasy football players out there, searched the waiver wire for any Raider running back, anticipating a big day. There were tens of thousands of people at Reliant Stadium last Sunday, and all of them had more rushing yards than Darren McFadden. (On that note, I think David Carrs infamous negative passing yard game was against the Raiders.) Glover Quin made his presence felt, at one point flipping McFadden face first into the ground. Were still missing a healthy DelJuan Robinson, but Shaun Cody and Amobi played a pretty good game against a no-name Raiders O-line. Its hard to judge the passing defense with JaMarcus Russell leading the Raiders. Duntas almost in form, but I still dont think hes worth anything near $10 million a year. A better receiver than Louis Murphy could have burned him for a TD or two. Now the offense. Schaub wasnt his best, hes been having an up and down season so far. Sure, he threw for nearly 300 yards again and threw 2 TDs against a pretty good defense. I thought he held the ball too long on some plays, I thought he read the defense brilliantly at times. Its hard to judge him, but hes no Drew Brees obviously though he did have a better game than Brees this week. Consider me a fan of Jacoby Jones. I called for Darnell Jenkins to take his spot in the offseason, but JJ is starting to show why Kubiak was so excited about the receiver from Lane College. Its pretty clear to me hes been working his buns off to make sure he can run to momma some more. Slaton is starting to look like the 2008 Slaton, and Moats is ready to step in if he doesnt. Ideally, wed want a big back to complement Slaton, but Slaton-Moats is good enough for me. If Kubiak can work a Slaton-Brown-Moats rotation, Id be more than happy. Random thoughts: 1. Now, I lost my grandmother to breast cancer and I hope a cure is found before I can risk losing my mother to it but the refs wore pink wristbands. Thats a bit much, isnt it? 2. Turk is slightly more athletic than a pear. I bet a pear wouldnt wear pants that high. 3. Louis Murphy must kill kittens in his free time. He has horrible luck. 4. Tom Cable is a pretty good coach. I hope he can get a job somewhere he can succeed. 5. I love being at the games in person, but its nice to hear something other than Clay Walker after a score. 6. The Raiders O-line coach, or one of the many, Dan Morgan is a Houston product; he may not have done a good job with the Raiders, but he taught kids at Westfield High School how to run a Zone Blocking Scheme very well.