The NFL returns to Mexico City this Monday, making it the first game there since 2005. This game is going to bring a lot of energy with two teams who are No.1 in their divisions. These two AFC top tier squads are heading south with intentions of keeping their winning streaks alive. Between the two quarterbacks, this game is much bigger for Brock Osweiler than it is Derek Carr. Despite the two game win streak for Houston, Osweiler has put up low numbers. The Texans have relied heavily on running back Lamar Miller, which has worked well for them against low ranking teams. If they want to have a successful game against a team like the Oakland Raiders, they are going to need a big game from Osweiler.
Derek Carr has been playing comfortably all year putting up 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are Carr’s favorite targets and they will be targeted on big plays. The Houston defense will have to put pressure on Carr to limit the amount of time he gets to hit Cooper or Crabtree.
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Another major difference in these teams is defense. The Oakland Raiders have found a way to make turnovers happen. Their defensive backs have earned eight interceptions while Houston has only come up with four. The Raider defense has also forced a total of 14 fumbles and they recovered half of them with a total of seven. Houston again behind the Raiders with only seven forced fumbles and four recoveries. The Texans have earned a defensive stat the Raiders have yet to do, which is put points on the board. The Texan defense unlike Oakland, has scored a touchdown this season.
In order for Osweiler to have a good game in Mexico City, he needs get back to the basics by letting his running back hit holes to start. Once the run has been implemented, then rely on play action to create spacing against the tight secondary of Oakland. The Houston line needs to step up and have a better performance, because they have allowed Osweiler to go down a total of 17 times already this year. The Raiders pass rush isn’t one of the best so the offensive line of the Texans need to capitalize on that.
With the Raiders on a three game win streak and Houston with two wins in a row, this game is sure to be a good battle. Osweiler needs to kick this cold streak and play like he did at the start of the season. Houston is going to have to play excellent on offense. The Texan defense isn’t going to shut out the high powered passing attack of Derek Carr on every Raider drive. The Monday night madness in Mexico City will be sure to have high levels of energy and yet another test for these rising young quarterbacks.