This is the live blog for the Oakland Raiders’ Wild Card Playoff road game against the Houston Texas. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.
11:58 Click here to participate in Lowell Cohn’s live chat. It starts at noon.
Raiders LT Donald Penn said there’s a small fracture in his knee, doesn’t need surgery, believes he’ll be back next week if OAK wins today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2017
12:31 Here are the Raiders’ inactives:
- QB Derek Carr
- S Nate Allen
- CB Antonio Hamilton
- OT Donald Penn
- OG Vadal Alexander
- DT Jihad Ward
- DE Branden Jackson
12:33 And here are the Texans’ inactives:
- QB Tom Savage
- CB Denzel Rice
- LB John Simon
- LB Max Bullough
- OG Josh Walker
- WR Wendall Williams
- DE Ufomba Kamalu
12:36 Keys questions for the Raiders:
- Will DC Ken Norton Jr. match up his No. 1 cornerback, David Amerson, on Houston’s No. 1 WR, DeAndre Hopkins, no matter where Hopkins lines up? Or will Norton allow the Texans to match up Hopkins against the Raiders No. 2 and No. 3 corners?
- Will the Raiders be able to run up the middle against Texans’ nose tackle Vince Wilfork? He’s so big, he can cover both A gaps when aligned directly across from the center.
- Will the Raiders be able to run outside the tackles without their starting left tackle, Donald Penn?
- Will Raiders rookie quarterback Connor Cook, who’s making his first start in the NFL, be able to force the Texans’ defense to back off the line of scrimmage, or will they load the box?
- Will the Raiders score more than 13 points? I don’t think they will. I’m picking the Texans to win a tight, low-scoring game.
1:36 Raiders win the toss and defer.
1:42 The Texans drive to the Raiders’ 37 and punt on fourth-and-five. T.J. Carrie makes a fair catch at the Raiders’ 7-yard line. Great punt by Lechler. Punting will be essential in this game. Have to keep the ball out of the end zone. No touchbacks. Make these offenses drive the length of the field.
1:46 On third-and-8, Cook throws a screen pass to Amari Cooper who gains one yard, and the Raiders go three-and-out. Cook’s first pass of the game was batted into the air by Jadeveon Clowney. Marquette King’s punt travels just 31 yards before sailing out of bounds. Horrible. As I wrote above, punting is key to this game. Texans will start at the Raiders 40.
1:51 The Texans gain just eight yards, but Nick Novak nails a 50-yard field goal, and the score is 3-0 Houston. Marquette King just gave the Texans an early leads. Inexcusable.
1:56 Cook looks right and throws a screen pass blindly to his left. The pass is intercepted by Clowney. Texans’ ball at the Raiders’ 4.
1:58 On first-and-goal, the Texans call a stretch run to the left, Khalil Mack fails to set the edge and Lamar Miller runs around the outside and into the end zone untouched. 10-0 Houston. This game may already be over.
2:04 On third-and-16, Cook throws a 17-yard pass to Michael Crabtree, but the officials rule the ball hit the ground before Crabtree caught it. Jack Del Rio is challenging the ruling.
2:06 The officials confirm their ruling. The nose of the ball hit the ground. Del Rio has just one challenge remaining. King’s punt bounces into the end zone after a few Raiders try to bat it back into the field of play. Touchback.
2:10 The Texans go three-and-out. Their offense really stinks. Lechler punts to Jalen Richard, who returns it 37 yards to the Texans’ 38. Huge play. That’s almost four first downs the Raiders’ offense doesn’t have to make.
2:15 Latavius Murray runs for a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 2. 10-7 Houston. Five-play, 38-yard drive, and Murray accounted for 31 yards on four plays. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave switched to a no-huddle offense which seemed to catch the Texans’ defense on their heels.
2:19 Osweiler fumbles the snap and recovers on first-and-10. He is so bad. Texans face third-and-12 from their 16-yard line when the second quarter begins.
2:22 Osweiler throws a quick screen to WR Will Fuller, and Mack tackles him for a loss of 4. Richard returns Lechler’s punt 9 yards to the Raiders’ 43. Oakland has the momentum.
2:25 Crabtree drops a short pass on second-and-8. And on third-and-8, Cook telegraphs a deep pass to Amari Cooper running an out route, and Jonathan Joseph bats the ball away. King’s punt pins the Texans at their 5-yard line. Nice.
2:33 Malcolm Smith breaks up a short pass on third-and-6 from the Raiders’ 20, and then Novak makes a 38-yard field goal. 13-7 Houston. The Raiders just let that terrible offense drive 75 yards. Not good.
2:39 Texans’ DBs break up Cooks’ passes on second down and third down, and the Raiders go three-and-out. Texans’ ball at their 22 after the punt. Cook’s passer rating is 9.4.
2:47 On third-and-4, the Texans run the ball and gain just two yards. Gutless call. Lechler’s punt bounces into the end zone. Terrible sequence for Houston.
2:50 Bruce Irvin pulled his right hamstring during that drive and left the game. Undrafted rookie James Cowser replaced him.
2:51 Raiders’ ball at their 20 with two timeouts and 2:52 left in the half.
2:55 Cook telegraphs his pass on third-and-8 and almost gets picked. He has telegraphed roughly half his passes. He is robotic. King’s punt travels just 38 yards. Texans’ ball at their 40.
2:57 Osweiler completes a 19-yard pass to Fuller just before the 2-minute warning.
3:00 Next play, DeAndre Hopkins beats David Amerson for a 38-yard catch down the right sideline. First-and-goal from the 3.
3:01 Hopkins beats Sean Smith with a slant route for a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 2. 20-7 Houston. And that should do it. I don’t think the Raiders can score 14 points, let alone 21.
3:07 The Raiders call a screen pass on first down, Cook holds the ball too long and almost gets stripped by Clowney before throwing the ball away. Cooks stinks. Raiders go three-and-out.
3:11 Bill Musgrave’s game plan was awful. He called screen pass after screen pass toward Jadeveon Clowney, who tipped two near the Raiders’ end zone and intercepted one.
3:24 Raiders start from their 25. Rodney Hudson is out with an ankle injury.
3:30 Cook takes a sack for a loss of 6 on second-and-15. He does not move well in the pocket. Raiders punt two plays later. Texans’ ball at their 20 after King’s punt.
3:34 Bruce Irvin is back and the Raiders force a three-and-out. Richard returns the punt 17 yards to the Texans’ 49.
3:38 On third-and-2, Cook holds the ball forever and takes a sack for a loss of 10. Raiders go three-and-out. Time to bench this guy and bring in McGloin.
3:43 Texans go three-and-out after Osweiler throws deep and out of bounds. Richard returns the punt four yards to the Raiders’ 38. Cook is still in the game.
3:45 Rodney Hudson returns, but the Raiders go three-and-out yet again as Amari Cooper drops a deep pass from Cook. Cooper has one catch for one yard. The Raiders are 0-10 on third down. Ugh!
3:53 The Texans drive to their 45 before punting. Raiders start from their 11. No chance Cook will lead an 89-yard drive.
4:01 Forget an 89-yard drive — the Raiders actually go backward two yards before they punt, and the Texans return it for a touchdown. But Houston is flagged for running into the punter. Five-yard penalty. Replay fourth down.
4:03 Tyler Ervin lets the punt bounce off his face, but the Texans recover. First-and-10 from their 47.
4:05 Texans’ backup running back Jonathan Grimes runs for 12 yards up the middle just before the end of the third quarter.
4:11 On second-and-goal from the 1, Brock Osweiler scores on a naked bootleg. Houston leads 27-7. And the Raiders’ season is over. Their lack of depth caught up with them at the end of the year. But if they have a good offseason, they could be the favorite to win the AFC in 2018.
4:24 The Texans stop blitzing and play vanilla defense, and Cook leads a 75-yard touchdown drive which he finishes with an 8-yard TD pass to Andre Holmes. 27-14 Texans with 8:10 left.
4:29 Osweiler throws a pass off of Denico Autry’s facemask on third-and-9, and the Texans go three-and-out. Raiders’ ball at their 19 with 6:34 left.
4:35 Cook throws over the head of a wide open Cooper and gets intercepted by Corey Moore. Cooper jumped for the ball and it tipped off his hands. He has two catches for 10 yards. The Raiders’ best receiver in this game has been Andre Holmes, who has four catches for 50 yards and one touchdown.
4:37 Cook’s passer rating is 36.7.
4:40 Grimes runs up the middle for 10 yards on third-and-9.
4:44 Lechler punts from the Raiders’ 46 and Richard makes a fair catch at the Raiders’ 7 with 2:06 left.
4:45 Cook completes a one-yard pass to Seth Roberts just before the two-minute warning.
4:52 On fourth-and-10 with 27 seconds left, Cook throws his third interception of the game, and the Raiders lose 27-14. Thanks for reading this live blog.