At the beginning of the season, Oakland was a popular choice to breakout. Behind the strengths of an elite offensive line, excellent quarterback play from Derek Carr and the two wide receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree many pegged them as having a great shot at making a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, a broken fibula to Carr has made that dream almost impossible. On the other side we have Houston a very good team that lacks competent quarterback play. They won arguably the weakest division in football, the AFC South. They did it with a stellar pass defense.
Oakland without Derek Carr means they will have a tough time moving the ball. Last week against another elite pass defense in Denver they struggled to move the ball and score points. They were held to one touchdown the whole game. It clearly showed that Oakland had struggles mustering any sort of rhythm with constant three and outs and no semblance of a passing a game, which was a strength of theirs for years. Now down to their third string QB in Connor Cook and going up against another good secondary I don’t expect much to change regarding this issue. They will struggle to consistently move the ball and put points on the board.
Houston has it’s own issues offensively. They have a weak passing game. Quarterback Brock Osweiler has shown no ability in running the offense. He’s consistently had bad outings which has left his defense doing all the work. He’s had a tough time finding his number one weapon in Deandre Hopkins on a consistent basis despite him being one of the best receivers in the league the year before he came. Houston will rely heavily on ball control by running it with Lamar Miller. Houston has shown it has no faith in Brock’s ability to provide competent quarterback play and as a result they will Lean heavily on their running game and their defense to try and win.
Both these offences are going to be very bad on Saturday, however, with Oakland losing its most important player and not having a strong defense to back up their offence, I expect Houston to implement their ball control strategy and run the football. I expect a low scoring game with very few highlights.
Final Score: Houston 20 Oakland 13