- It’s Monday night, and it’s time for the most hated day of the week to get a whole lot better. Tonight, the AFC South leading Houston Texans take on the AFC West leading Oakland Raiders, coming off of a bye and a huge win over the rivaling Denver Broncos. On top of that, the NFL International Series continues, as football begins to expand around the globe. For the first time since 2005, a football game will be played in Mexico City, where the game is rapidly growing in popularity and the Oakland Raiders have a huge fan base. This will be the first ever Monday night game played outside of the US.
Let’s start by analyzing the Raiders. Arguably the best team in the AFC, and one of the hottest teams in the NFL, the blazing offense of the Raiders has carried them thus far. Led by MVP candidate Derek Carr, the aerial attack has been phenomenal. Carr’s weapons consist of all star second-year receiver Amari Cooper, veteran leader Michael Crabtree, and added depth from Seth Roberts and TE Clive Walford. The running game has been great too, as Latavius Murray rushed for over 100 yards and 3 touchdowns against the top ranked Denver Bronco defense in their last outing. Behind one of the best offensive lines in football, this unit is very difficult to stop.
The Texans practice balance. It is amazing that a team led by Brock Osweiler can be in the position that they are in. Despite the atrocious quarterback play, this team continues to win games. And they are doing it without the best defensive player in football, JJ Watt, who was sidelined for the season due to back issues. Their run defense is stout, and former first overall pick JaDeveon Clowney seems to be coming along nicely. Their secondary is ranked in the top 5, led by Johnathan Joseph. Offensively, all of their struggles stem from Brock Osweiler. They have a great run game with Lamar Miller in the backfield. They have one of the best wide receivers in football in DeAndre Hopkins, but he has been useless because of the QB issues. The offensive line is very effective. Nonetheless, the Texans are atop their division as we approach Thanksgiving week.
Look for a great matchup live from Mexico City tonight.