The Oakland Raiders are gearing up for their second primetime game in a row as they will take on the Houston Texans. The Raiders are heading to Mexico City, where they will host the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football as part of the NFL's International Series.
The biggest challenge for the players on the field will be the high altitude of city, which sits at 7,328 feet above elevation. This will be the second game played in Mexico City, as the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers played in 2005.
Jack Del Rio and the Oakland Raiders will face a familiar foe as quarterback Brock Osweiler currently leads the Texans offense after starting for the Denver Broncos last season. Osweiler, who signed a big contract in the offseason, is having a tough year, throwing for 1,818 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions through 10 weeks.
Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is having a slower season but still leads the team with 45 receptions and 482 yards, but just three touchdowns. That said, Hopkins is always a dangerous receiver and always has the potential to have a breakout game so the Raiders secondary will have to keep an eye on them.
Pacing the running game is RB Lamar Miller, who ranks seventh in the NFL with 720 yards on 168 carries. The fifth-year veteran has found the end zone just twice so far this season. The Raiders defense has been better in defending against the run as of late, but is still just ranked 21st in the league allowing 114 yards per game on the ground.
Quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders offense will have a tough challenge as they face defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel's defense that is ranked as one of the best in the league. Even with three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year DE J.J. Watt, the unit is still fourth-best in the league allowing just 317 total yards per game.
The Texans defense is especially stingy against the pass, allowing just 196 yards per game. Raiders wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will have to work hard to gain separation to give Carr a window to throw the ball.
Raiders running back Latavius Murray is coming off a big game against the Denver Broncos in which he scored three touchdowns with a 100-plus yard game and he'll have a chance at another good game Monday night. The Texans defense is weaker in defending the run, allowing 120 yards per game (20th in the league).
The Raiders offensive line has done a stellar job keeping Carr off his back, allowing just 11 sacks on the season, a league best. They'll have another tough matchup going against a Texans defensive line that has already recorded 19 sacks this season, after setting a franchise record with 45 sacks last season.
The Oakland Raiders will return home next week to take on the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers next week.