Houston (6-3) vs Oakland (7-2)
When: Monday, November 21st 2016
Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
Mexico City will host it’s first NFL game in 11 years when the Oakland Raiders battle the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. The Raiders have a half game lead in the AFC West over Kansas City and Denver and have won all five of their games away from home even though they will be considered the home team tonight. Oakland entered its bye with a three-game winning streak punctuated by a 30-20 victory over reigning Super Bowl champion Denver two weeks ago. They are averaging 31 points during its three-game winning streak and are 6-1 in its last seven. Derek Carr has had a break-out season with 17 scoring passes and three interceptions, but took a back seat to the running game against Denver. Latavius Murray rushed for 114 yards and three scores in the victory. Defensive end Khalil Mack has recorded two sacks in back-to-back games and a total of six in the last four contests, boosting his season total to seven. He also sacked Texans’ QB Brock Osweiler five times in a game last year when Osweiler was with Denver. The Raiders are tied with Atlanta for the NFL lead with 12 forced fumbles.
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Houston posted its first road win of the season with a 24-21 victory at Jacksonville last weekend and owns a 1.5 game lead in the AFC South over Indianapolis. The Texans, winners of two straight, had been outscored 85-22 in their first three road games. Osweiler threw for a pair of touchdowns but only 99 yards at Jacksonville and has recorded only 416 passing yards over his last three games. Osweiler threw for 308 yards versus Oakland last season while with Denver in the game that Mack recorded those five sacks. With Osweiler continuing to struggle for the worst passing attack in the NFL (187.3), Houston leaned on its running game to carry the offense. Lamar Miller rushed for 83 yards to spark an attack that produced a season-high 181 against Jacksonville. DeAndre Hopkins had 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and 11 TDs last season, but he’s been limited to 56 yards or fewer in seven of the nine games. The Texans rank fourth in total defense, giving up 317.4 yards per game and are third against the pass. They struggle against the run, giving up 120.7 yards a contest.
People keep overlooking this Houston team and it’s probably because they’re in a bad division. The passing game is struggling, but I believe it will come around tonight against the Oakland secondary. The Raiders offense should be cooled-off after the bye week and this will be a tight game. I’ll take the points.
Pick: Texans +6