Unfortunately for the sold-out crowd in attendance at O.Co Coliseum, that would not be the case as the Houston Texans would dominate the Silver & Black in all aspects of the game.
After winning the coin flip, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen chose to begin on defense and deferred to the second half.
Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick capitalized by quickly leading his offense down the field much due to star running back Arian Foster. Foster took off in between the entire Raiders offense for a 41-yard run down to the one-yard line.
Fitzgerald would finish off the drive with some trickery, finding defensive end J.J. Watt wide open in the end zone for the touchdown after he lined up at tight end.
The Raiders defense wouldn’t do much better on the next drive as Fitzpatrick once again drove his team down for another TD. The Texans offense would be clicking on all levels as they went 4/4 on third down conversions on that drive alone. Foster would punch it in on 3rd and goal from the 5, with ease. The score put the Texans up 14-0.
Meanwhile, the Raiders would only get one offensive drive in the first quarter, going three and out and gaining just three yards. As a whole, the Raiders were outgained 150 yards to just three in the first quarter.
It would look like the Raiders would find some offensive momentum on their next drive when Derek Carr took a quarterback keeper 41 yards for the Raiders first big play on offense. Problem was that just two plays later Carr would have a costly rookie mistake, throwing it deep to have it picked off by Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson who returned the ball 56 yards.
The Raiders defense was able to hold the Texans to just a field goal, but it did give Houston a 17-0 lead.
Oakland looked as if they were finally going to score in the first half when Carr found veteran wide receiver James Jones down the right sideline. Jones was stripped by the Texans defender before getting back to the ball and picking it up and running. But that wasn’t the end of it, as Texans safety D.J. Swearinger stripped him again and another Houston defender recovered the ball at the one-yard line.
The Raiders had a chance to get at least a field goal before the half but Darren McFadden caught a ball on the sideline and failed to get out of bounds, running the clock out.
The play would secure a 17-0 lead for the Texans with both teams heading into the locker room.
Houston would continue to build on their lead in the second half by capitalizing on yet another Raiders fumble. This time it would be tight end Mychal Rivera’s fumble that Johnathan Joseph returned down to the Raiders 21-yard line.
It took Fitzpatrick just six plays to get his offense back into the end zone, finding DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone to put the Texans up 24-0.
The Raiders wouldn’t get on the board until the fourth quarter when McFadden was able to get around the left side from the one-yard line for the touchdown bringing the score to 27-7.
Houston would control the ball for nine minutes on the ensuing drive that end in another field goal, making the score 30-7.
The Raiders would tack on another late touchdown when Carr found Jones in the end zone with just 13 seconds remaining to bring the score to 30-14. That score would become final after a failed onside kick and a kneel down.
The Raiders won’t be back home for three weeks as they head to New England to take on the Patriots next week, then head to London to take on the Dolphins and then what may be a much-needed bye.