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.

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Houston's winning streak moves to six

Eighth-inning rally powers Astros to series sweep over Rangers

Yuli Gurriel brought in the go-ahead run late in Sunday's game. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Winners in the first three games of this series and their last five games overall, the Astros continued their climb towards the A's for first place in the AL West. They completed the four-game sweep, ending a successful homestand on a positive note before heading on the road.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 2

Astros' Record: 24-17, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brooks Raley (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez (1-2)

Astros strike first, McCullers Jr. goes six scoreless

After the Rangers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, Houston grabbed an early lead off the bat of Alex Bregman. He provided the third single of the inning, a one-out RBI to put the Astros in front 1-0, a score which would hold steady for a while. Another run didn't come across until the bottom of the fifth when Houston would load the bases with one out when Carlos Correa would get an RBI groundball to double the lead to 2-0.

Lance McCullers Jr. did well with the small lead, backing up his recent eight-inning gem with a quality start against Texas. He allowed a couple of hits each in the third and fourth but would erase the runners with no damage allowed. The Rangers threatened in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double before the runner moved to third on a wild pitch, putting him in a great position with no outs. McCullers Jr. would come away unscathed, finishing the inning and his day by retiring the next three batters. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 95 P.

Rangers tie it against Scrubb

First out of Houston's bullpen was Andre Scrubb, and he would not fare as well as the Astros starter. A leadoff single turned into a two-run game-tying homer, making it 2-2 before Scrubb would sit down the next three in order. Still tied in the top of the eighth, Brooks Raley had a terrific inning, striking out the three batters he faced.

Houston rallies ahead in the eighth for the four-game sweep

The top of Houston's order mounted a threat in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with one out to try and regain the lead. Yuli Gurriel would come through with the go-ahead at-bat, getting a sac fly to put the Astros back in front 3-2. A two-out walk loaded the bases again, setting up Chas McCormick to provide two insurance runs on a two-RBI single.

Myles Straw added one more on an RBI single, making it a four-run game at 6-2 heading to the ninth. Enoli Paredes made his long-awaited return from the IL, appearing for the first time since April 8th to try and close things out in the ninth. He tossed a scoreless inning, finishing off the four-game sweep, extending Houston's winning streak to six games, and keeping them in step with Oakland for the AL West lead.

Up Next: After a day off on Monday, the Astros will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday. They'll kick off a three-game set in Oakland against the A's at 8:40 PM, an exciting matchup to determine who will head into the weekend atop the division. While Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.08 ERA) is the expected starter for Houston, Oakland has not yet determined their rotation for the series.

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