At this point, a Raiders have to be feeling like this competence be their year to do something special. The Texans, well, they’re substantially traffic with a opposite set of emotions after their 27–20 detriment in Mexico City on Monday night—rage, frustration, maybe even a small bit of self-loathing.
We always contingency save time for officiating controversies nowadays, yet let’s put a pin in that subject for a moment. First, let’s concentration on a Raiders. Trailing 20–13 in a fourth quarter, they, as has been a box most of a season, asked a offense to bail them out.
Oakland curled a diversion with a well-designed pass play to fullback Jamize Olawale, of all people. Olawale was open low given several Houston defenders got held with their eyes in a backfield, where star receiver Amari Cooper had lined adult as a using behind before releasing into a flat. When a whole Houston linebacking corps took a step toward Cooper, Oakland QB Derek Carr floated one downfield to Olawale, who done a locate and raced to paydirt.
Later, with a diversion now unresolved during 20, a Raiders pennyless off a five-play, 85-yard touchdown expostulate that culminated in a resplendent catch-and-run TD from Cooper.
Three clock-killing initial downs from that Oakland offense hermetic a outcome late, bumping a Raiders’ record to a startling 8–2, good for solitary possession of initial place in a really rival AFC West. Six of Oakland’s wins have been by 7 points or fewer, including a thespian Week 1 feat during New Orleans and a Week 8 OT delight during Tampa Bay.
This team, and generally this offense, has responded regularly when corroborated into a corner. As such, a Raiders will conduct into a final week of November—and, in all likelihood, into a season-defining widen from Weeks 14-17 that facilities highway trips to all 3 AFC West rivals—in control of their local destiny.
So, that’s a feel-good apportionment of a plot: The Raiders rallying in front of 100,000-plus fans during Azteca Stadium, during a NFL’s initial Monday night diversion played outward of U.S. soil.
The rest of a story involves another head-scratching method of events from a league’s officials.
The Texans’ list of complaints with a refs began right away, on their opening expostulate Monday night. On a 3rd-and-7 from his possess 40, Houston QB Brock Osweiler found DeAndre Hopkins tarnishing right to left opposite a field. Hopkins held Osweiler’s pass and incited adult upfield toward a finish zone, customarily to be ruled out of end during a 36. Replays were inconclusive, during best—Hopkins’s heel seemed to be hovering over a out-of-bounds line, yet did it ever touch? The Texans wound adult settling for a margin idea on a drive.
The some-more confounding emanate came low into a fourth quarter, customarily before what would be a game-winning measure from Cooper. Houston seemed on initial peek to have picked adult a initial down on back-to-back snaps inside Oakland’s red zone, customarily to be noted brief any time, ensuing in a turnover on downs. Texans manager Bill O’Brien challenged a second instance, after RB Akeem Hunt seemed to transparent a yardage required to pierce a sticks. (Lamar Miller’s third-down run off a left side was some-more of a missed spot, if there was one.)
The plea was denied, and by a time Houston got a round behind it trailed by a TD.
“Went for it, suspicion we had it, looked like it was transparent that we had it, so we challenged it and they pronounced we didn’t have it,” O’Brien said. ”[The ref] said, ‘The call on a margin stands,’ so we don’t know.”
Adding even serve to a Texans’ angst was a constant participation of laser pointers resplendent down on Osweiler and others by some in a stands, a standard Estadio Azteca bother for visiting soccer players yet outward a norms of what NFL teams customarily have to understanding with. O’Brien had no criticism on that matter.
The Houston manager won’t go yet censure himself. He could have taken 3 points and a lead rather than giving Hunt a fourth-down carry. And he also opted to punt late nearby midfield, down 7 with customarily one timeout in his pocket.
Add it all adult and it won’t be a fun week for a Texans, who still have a AFC South lead during 6–5 yet mislaid an event Monday. Most sentimental for them will be that they squandered a best opening by Osweiler given he sealed with them this off-season. He finished 26 of 39 for 243 yards, a TD and an interception, yet found success opposite Oakland’s invulnerability for most of a night.
Does any of that take divided from Oakland’s victory? Certainly not in a standings. Probably not for a submissive Raiders, either.
Although their run diversion endured an suddenly still night (30 yards on 20 attempts), Carr again rode to a rescue late. He posted 295 yards flitting and 3 TDs, saving his best throws for last. The Raiders authorised him to put a diversion on ice, too, that he did with a 29-yard execution to Jalen Richard on a final possession.
Oakland was not all that good on defense, nor was it utterly offset or unchanging on offense. As has turn a using theme, though, it managed to come adult with a plays it needed.
The Texans (or during slightest their fans) might tell we that a officials supposing utterly a bit of assistance. The Raiders won’t care. With a lot on a line for both teams, Oakland—led by Carr—snatched another thespian feat for itself in a deteriorate full of them.