From red zone to third down there's plenty of similarities in the two teams

Texans and Raiders not too different ahead of Sunday showdown

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Friday Stoots Six-Pack gets you ready for the Sunday afternoon game against the Raiders.

Raiders reject to Texans key player

The Raiders decided to dump the former first-round pick to get "younger" according to Jon Gruden.

The Raiders have decided to recently move on from top picks Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack so I expect the Texans to get more than enough value out of Conley to validate the use of the third-round pick to get him.

Bill O'Brien mentioned the 2017 draft process let them know a lot about Conley and you can definitely see the Texans moving towards the type of cornerback they see themselves needing in the current NFL.

As Conley said above, he's a man corner. Lonnie Johnson said he loves to play press man when he was drafted. Bradley Roby can play man with the best of the Texans defensive backs. They still have some zone plays, but they want to get nasty with the wideouts they will see.

I am excited about Conley. I liked his game coming out of Ohio State and the Buckeyes have had plenty of solid defensive backs in recent years. He doesn't have to be a star, just be reliable.

Red zone woes for both teams

In the last three weeks, the Raiders and the Texans are the two worst teams in red zone defense. Only Miami is worse than both teams when considering the whole season. This could be pretty interesting on Sunday. The team that can get a stop in the red zone might win.

The Texans had the best red zone offense in the NFL ahead of last week's game but struggled to showcase that effectiveness against the Colts dropping to fourth in the NFL after settling for a field goal

Last week Derek Carr fumbled trying to do too much on the goal line. He also threw an interception and the team turned it over on downs trying to punch it in. The Raiders will leave points out there so if the Texans can keep the pressure on them they could overwhelm them.

Thrillers on third down

Oakland converts 50 percent of their third downs. The Texans convert about 49 percent. They are two of the top four teams in the NFL.

Oakland sets themselves up with a solid rushing attack. They don't face a lot of third and long situations via their ability to stay on schedule with their offense. On the rare occasions they face third and long Derek Carr isn't afraid to try to make a big play. Last week he hit Keelan Doss for a big play on 3rd and 11.

Houston gets there by staying on schedule but they also have a dynamic quarterback that can cover up some of their issues when they don't succeed on first and second down.

With both of these defenses struggling and the offenses succeeding the way they have been long drives and points might shorten this game up for both sides. Extended drives would do wonders for loosing up each team's defense late.

Raiders can't make Texans make a mistake

The Raiders have forced 5 turnovers all season. They can not turn teams over. They recovered two fumbles and caught two Chase Daniel interceptions. The other was a Jacoby Brissett interception.

That's it.

Not to say the Texans are amazing, they have just 10 turnovers, but the Raiders lack the talent needed to turn teams over. Meaning, they only feast on other team's mistakes.

If the Texans play a clean game and could get Oakland to make a rare mistake, they don't turn the ball over much themselves, it would go a long way in making sure they get a win.

Josh Jacobs can ball

The Raiders rookie running back is eighth in the NFL in rushing after just six games with Oakland. Five of the seven players in front of him have all played at least seven games.

He is banged up right now, but said this week he didn't have to practice to play on Sunday. If he can't go, the Raiders are nowhere near as dangerous or effective on the ground. If they can't run on the ground, Carr will have to take more chances and they don't have the talent to stick around in a shootout.

In addition to Jacobs, the Raiders are banged up from center to right tackle. Wideout Tyrell Williams might make a return though so that will be the best weapon on the outside the Raiders have had since he was hurt.

Tearing down the Waller

​The best weapon in the Raiders passing attack is tight end Darren Waller. He has an incredible story and earlier this month got a new contract to stick around with the Raiders. Easy guy to root for on any given day.

Waller has the sixth most catches without a drop this season. He's 16th in receiving yards which is third among tight ends. He only has a couple of scores, but he can get the Raiders in position.

With the success Eric Ebron had last week, Waller could be a problem. A healthy Tashaun Gipson would go a long way in slowing down the big tight end weapon. He, unfortunately, isn't healthy yet. So slowing down Waller could be tough.

SPORTSMAP ROUNDTABLE PRESENTED BY TIGHT ENDS SPORTS BAR & GRILL

Why beating the Ravens means more than you think

Composite photo by Jack Brame

The Texans head to Baltimore with a 6-3 record hoping to win a statement game making Houston a real threat to win the conference.

The Patriots and the Ravens are the Texans' biggest threats in the AFC, so a win against Baltimore would be huge for Houston.

ESPN 97.5's John Granato, A.J. Hoffman, and Raheel Ramzanali discuss if a win at Baltimore would make them believers in the Texans. SportsMap Roundtable presented by Tight Ends Sports Bar & Grill.

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