Texans Report Card vs Raiders
Coach Gary Kubiak (Getty Images)
Coach Gary Kubiak (Getty Images)

Posted Oct 7, 2009

Houston Texans report card against the Oakland Raiders

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- QB Matt Schaub threw for 204 yards and a touchdown in the first half and finished with 224. That's because he threw only six passes in the second half because the coaches wanted to work on the running game. Schaub was sacked four times -- the same number as the first three games, and two were his fault. He threw an interception in the end zone. That's the second game in a row in which he's had a red-zone interception.

RB Steve Slaton had a 32-yard touchdown run and finished with 65 yards on 21 carries. His touchdown came against a nickel defense. The rest of the time he was running against an eight-man front. Ryan Moats came off the bench and generated 56 yards on 15 carries. The Texans had season highs with 41 carries and 120 yards, but they still averaged only 2.9 yards a carry. Not a very impressive performance by the blockers.

The Texans started three new players in the secondary -- strong safety Bernard Pollard, free safety Dominique Barber and cornerback Glover Quinn. JaMarcus Russell was 12-of-33 for 128 yards. Coach Tom Cable said nine passes were dropped. The front seven put persistent pressure on Russell even though Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye had the only sacks.

They ranked last in the league going into this game, but they didn't make mental mistakes and they swarmed to the ball. They limited the Raiders to 45 yards on 22 carries, including 20 on an end-around by Darrius Heyward-Bay. They had six tackles for loss. For the first time this season, they didn't allow a 100-yard runner or a long gain.

Jacoby Jones scored on a 95-yard kickoff return. Kris Brown kicked two field goals but missed a 33-yarder. Matt Turk put two punts inside the 20, including one that was downed at the 1 and set up a score. The coverage teams were outstanding.

COACHING: B-minus --
Let's face it, Gary Kubiak beat Tom Cable and the Raiders. It's hard to believe there's a worse team than the Raiders in the NFL. The best thing Kubiak did was to show faith in beleaguered first-year defensive coordinator Frank Bush, who had been bombarded with criticism by the fans and media for ranking last in defense and last against the run. The best thing to come out of the Oakland game was the defense limiting the Raiders to 45 yards rushing.

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S Dominique Barber (profile)
WR Jacoby Jones (profile)
SS Bernard Pollard (profile)
CB Glover Quin (profile)
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