https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/10/11/re-focused-raiders-texans/ The Houston Texans had a strong desire to win this game to prove that they werent going to fade away as the season progressed, while the Oakland Raiders wanted to honor Al Davis and his commitment to excellence. In the end, the latter proved the stronger force, as the Raiders did what Davis would have told them to do; Just win baby! The Texans may have had more total yards than the Raiders (473-278), and they may have converted 10 more first downs than them, but in the end the Raiders managed put more points up on the scoreboard. With Mr. Davis clearly in mind, the Raiders converted a fake punt with a 35-yard scamper by Rock Cartwright that allowed Sebastian Janikowski to eventually hit one of his four field goals. Although it only resulted in a field goal, that play had a huge impact on the game as Matt Schaub would not have had to throw a last-second interception if the Raiders had punted the ball and Neil Rackers could have tried to win the game for Houston with a chip-shot. Nobody knows for sure what would have happened if the Raiders had elected to punt instead, but how fitting is it that part of the reason they won was a tribute play to Davis? . Raiders: Three Performances of Note 1) A nod to the Wis-kid Stefan Wisniewskis bloodlines are starting to show in a big way, as Oaklands assistant offensive line coach and former all-pro guard Steve Wisniewski is helping his nephew acclimate to the pro game. While the division rival Denver Broncos are still waiting to see returns on their investment in Zane Beadles at left guard, Wisniewskis fifth career game earned a higher overall grade (+2.7) than all but one of Beadles 18 NFL games. For the first time in his young career, Wisniewski had a perfect day in pass protection and made a few big plays in the run game as well. In addition to that, Wisniewski also moved over to center and filled in nicely for Samson Satele for 10 snaps after he suffered an injury. Towards the end of the third quarter, Wisniewski had his way with nose tackles Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody, allowing Darren McFadden to make a cut off of his shoulder and pick up 34 yards on those two plays. Its also worth noting that these plays occurred while Wisniewski was filling in at center. His counterpart, Cooper Carlisle (-7.3), didnt fare quite so well overall on the other side of the offensive line. . 2) Seymour turns in his revenge game a week late Besides letting his emotions cause a few crucial penalties, Richard Seymour didnt play poorly last week against New England, however you get the feeling that this was the monster game he was saving for his revenge game against the Patriots. Seymour earned an insane +9.5 overall grade in Houston despite being docked for an important roughing the passer penalty on the final drive. The sometimes-dominant lineman collected two sacks, two quarterback hits, three pressures, and he managed to bat down two passes at the line. On 3rd and 10 from the Raiders 12-yard line with 3:33 left in the game, Seymour ripped under left guard Wade Smiths block and sacked Matt Schaub before the play had time to develop. This play was indicative of the kind of clutch plays he had all game long. Also, both of Seymours sacks occurred on third down plays. . 3) Jason Campbell struggles under pressure Jason Campbell has been playing well enough to win all year long and even though graded pretty well in games against Buffalo and New England, against Houston the Raiders won in spite of him rather than because of him. Campbell overthrew some balls that he surely wished he could have back, and he especially struggled under pressure (-1.5) as he completed only one pass and was sacked three times in 18 drop-backs. With that being said, it wasnt just in the face of pressure where Campbell made mistakes. At 7:28 in the first quarter, the Raiders sucked in safeties Danieal Manning and Glover Quin (+2.1) with a well-executed flea-flicker. The play worked out so well, that Campbell had enough time to take the pitch back, set his feet, and unload the bomb without worry. Since the play caught Manning and Quin creeping forward, Jason Allen was forced to drop into the deep zone and track Chaz Schilens from the other side of the field. Allen was unable to close in on the receiver, and Schilens was streaking wide-open down the field only to be overthrown on what would have been a sure touchdown. That play epitomized the kind of day Campbell had, but were willing to bet he will take a subpar performance with a win over a good performance with a loss any day. . Texans: Three Performances of Note 1) Wadeing through dangerous waters One of the best units in the league, the Texans offensive line was mostly manhandled by the Raiders front four, especially in the run game. One player whose performance was the most forgettable was Wade Smith, who was mentioned already in the Seymour paragraph. Smith nearly broke double-digits with his overall grade, as he was awarded a grade of -9.6, which was mainly due to one of the worse jobs in pass protection youll ever see from a guard. In total, he allowed nine quarterback pressures that resulted in his quarterback hitting the turf four times. Smith also struggled to hold a block on Seymour in the run game on more than one occasion, and he had nine plays in which he was graded -1.0 or worse. . 2) Life after Mario Williams With Andre Johnson not quite ready to return yet and Mario Williams now out for the season, the next couple weeks are crucial in determining how Houstons season will play out. Will they steel their resolve without their best players, play inspired football, and remain competitive? Or will they falter and inevitably fade down the stretch? While we dont hold all the answers in that regard, we can take some clues from this game as to how the defense will function without Williams. While Connor Barwin was a non-factor in the pass rush department (-2.8), rookie linebacker Brooks Reed (+2.1 overall) was forced to play more snaps (57) in one game than he had all season (43) and was productive with a couple quarterback hits and three pressures. Most of Reeds productive plays occurred when he had his hand on the ground in a four-man line, but he did make some plays standing up too. At 11:51 in the second quarter, he ruined a pitch to Jacoby Ford when he sealed the edge and forced Ford to bounce to the sideline instead of making him cut downfield. To make up for Williams absence, the Texans blitzed Brian Cushing 16 times and he produced a sack, batted down pass, and added two more quarterback pressures. . 3) Jacoby Jones is not the worlds greatest stunt double In our preview of this game, we mentioned Jacoby Jones (-2.3) having an opportunity to establish himself as the number two receiver with the caveat that if he doesnt perform well in Johnsons absence, the Texans may finally give up on his potential and try to find a new project receiver to develop into a complement for their star receiver. Well, Jones may have gotten the start in place of Johnson, but he didnt do anything to demonstrate that he should remain a long-term starter. Jones caught only one pass in nine targets, and the Texans wide-outs in general looked like secondary options to their tight ends. Jones was whistled for a false start on offense and had a couple of bad plays on special teams when he muffed a punt and fair-caught a punt over his shoulder at his own five-yard line instead of letting it bounce and taking the chance of it reaching the end zone. These mistakes wouldnt have been so bad, but Jones was invisible on offense as well. To make matters worse, Kevin Walter (+1.3) had his best game of the season so far. Time is running out for Jones to prove hes more than just a kick returner. . Game Notes ● Oaklands special teams unit played a strong part in their victory once again: Bruce Davis blocked a punt, Janikowski connected on three 50+ yard field goals and four in all, and Shane Lechler (+3.3) was as consistent as ever with punting balls higher and farther than your average punter. ● There were eight total passes tipped at the line of scrimmage in this game, six of which came from Oaklands defense. The Raiders batted seven passes at the line in the previous four games. Their 13 total batted passes is the most in the league. ● Texans tight ends and running backs were targeted 26 times for 17 completions by Schaub. Wide receivers David Anderson, Walter, and Jones were targeted 17 times for only six completions. . PFF Game Ball Al Davis, Owner, Oakland Raiders How can we do anything other than give the PFF game ball posthumously to Al Davis? Well bet Mark Davis received the real game ball for this one. Not only is the gesture a tribute to Davis, but his influence did in fact help the Raiders win this game. Besides giving them an emotional tactical advantage, plays like the fake punt were clearly a tribute to Davis and that play was crucial in deciding the game. .