The Houston Texans and Las Vegas Raiders are comparable teams based on their respective records. The Raiders are a better team, though, when context and football knowledge are factored in. The Texans have some good players who make for interesting matchups. With that in mind, let’s break down three crucial matchups worth watching during their Week 7 clash.
Texans vs. Raiders: Matchup No. 1 – Chandler Jones vs. Laremy Tunsil
Week 6’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs Jones showed us he still has it. Jones may be in for a reality check despite the strong performance because he will be lining up opposite Tunsil. Given that Tunsil is currently the seventh-ranked offensive tackle, Jones will face a difficult opponent.
Due to his play strength and technique, Tunsil is a fantastic offensive tackle who is difficult to beat. However, Jones is also known for those characteristics. Given that they are both seasoned veterans, Jones will need to show us some of his vintage moves to defeat Tunsil.
You can count on Maxx Crosby to deliver as usual. Jones must keep up his strong play if the Raiders pass rush is to have any chance of affecting Davis Mills. Jones will face his toughest test to date with Tunsil; let’s see if he can win some reps.
Texans vs. Raiders: Matchup No. 2 – Davante Adams vs. Derek Stingley Jr.Â
Stingley Jr. is coming off his first career interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The rookie will have to flip the switch, because Adams is his next opponent. Stingley Jr. won’t be left alone on the island to guard Adams, of course, but in his brief career, he hasn’t come across another receiver quite like him.
In his first season, Stingley Jr. has made 30 tackles, one interception, five pass deflections, and one sack. These numbers have no bearing on Adams. The Raiders should put Adams against Stingley Jr. on a regular and early basis. The Raiders should allow Adams to formally welcome him to the NFL. If I were the Raiders, I would love my chances when Adams faced a rookie. The Texans rookie needs to be on his game or Adams will have a field day.
Texans vs. Raiders: Matchup No. 3 – Denzel Perryman vs. Dameon Pierce
The Raiders’ defense hasn’t exactly been stellar, but their run defense has been among the best. Which is fortunate, given that Pierce has the eighth-most rushing yards in the NFL and is visiting Allegiant Stadium. Perryman will be essential in putting a stop to him. Perryman is likely the Raiders’ best run defender, second only to Crosby. His ability to read plays and get there quickly will be needed to limit Pierce.
The fact that Pierce is a versatile runner means that Perryman will need to be ready for anything the Texans throw at them. One notable observation regarding Pierce is that he is naturally low to the ground due to his height, which is one of the things that makes him so good. The Raiders’ advantage is that Perryman isn’t the tallest player; all he needs to do is make tackles in the open field to stop Pierce from running wild against the Raiders.
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*Top Photo: Mark Brown/Getty Images