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Game 4 Preview: @ Texans

A huge early game for both teams. The Texans lost to the Jets, defeated the Titans Ina shootout and were in another shootout losing to the Jags in week 3.

One thing is absolutely true. The Titans run defense is terrible. The pass defense is just a tiny bit better. Overall, this team wins by outscoring the other team.

Huge weight on the Raider defense or offense?

The poor Raiders offense needs to get on track, but the defense must play better against a high powered offense.

This could mean a big impact day from the special teams units to close any gaps or cracks that aren't filled defensively or offensively.


Nam vs. André Johnson - Probably the best individual matchup of the year. Huge challenge for both guys. Nam will want to prove he is better than Revis, but Johnson may want to prove he can best the elite CBs.

Chris "Gametime" Johnson vs. Kevin Walter - Just as big of a matchup impact wise as Nam vs. André. When Johnson is shut down Schaub will look to Walter. It is very challenging matchup for the Raiders corners. Maybe the best vs. best as a group.

Luigi (Henderson) vs. Mario Williams - Huge challenge for Luigi. We may finally find out which Nintendo titan is better. To the victory goes Princess Toadstool.

Defensive line vs. Schaub - The key to the Raiders defense is pressure. That pressure rarely comes from a blitz. So it will be up to Ellis, Seymour, Warren and Kelly to make Schaub uncomfortable and make sure he doesn't have too much time to get his excellent receivers open. Kelly had a terrible game against Denver and the others were at best invisible.

Linebackers vs. Crossing Routes - Last week Denver exposed a major weakness in the Raider defense by sending receivers into a short middle zone that was frequently vacated by the linebackers. The linebackers need to adjust by not falling too far back into coverage and making receivers pay for coming into the box. Don't be surprised if the Texans copy the plan until The linebackers prove they can stop it. Might be wise to have more defined man-to-man assignments this week.

JaMarcus Russell vs. JaMarcus Russell - He clearly has the physical tools. He has a great coach in Paul Hackett. His mechanics problems are mental lapses. The timing problems are partly Russell and partly rookie receivers. He needs to demand more from his receivers and make sure he isn't causing the timing problems. Most of these things are mental from Russell's perspective. If he fixes some of these things there isn't a defense on the other side that csn stop him from having an excellent day passing.

I'm willing to give JaMarcus a full 30 starts to prove something. If he doesn't look like he is getting it by then, he probably will never get it. I realize if he doesnt get it that the Raiders have lost the entire season, but we made the investment and we must give it a reasonable amount of time to mature.

Most teams can pretty much see what they have after 30 starts. Cable says he needs to see positive progressive improvement each week and that means by the end of the season JaMarcus simply must look like a good NFL starter.

From what we have seen so far, he has a long way to go. From what we saw the end of last season, he may not be as far off as it seems.

Hopefully Russell at very least looks like himself and not like Ryan Leaf.


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