Raiders-Texans notebook

The Oakland Raiders got a first-hand look at their depth at running back in a 30-17 loss to the Houston Texans Sunday.

Starting tailback Tyrone Wheatley left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury but Amos Zereoue filled in very well in his absence. Zereoue totaled 117 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Wheatley was well enough to return if need be but the Oakland Raiders stayed with Zereoue.

The Raiders running game accounted for 173 yards in last Sunday's 30-20 win over Tampa Bay after struggling the first two games. Oakland gained 151 yards on the ground against Houston.

He's no chicken Curry

Jerry Rice continues to be the nominal starter opposite Jerry Porter but Ronald Curry continues to be a much bigger factor in the offensive scheme. Curry caught five passes for 69 yards.

Rice came within 2:33 of getting shut out once more. It was his only catch.

Houston ground game gouges Oakland

The Raiders run defense entered the game a much improved group over last season, when they finished dead last against the run.

Oakland entered the game with the sixth-best defense against the run but the Texans, despite being without starting running back Domanick Davis, rushed for 162 yards. Johnathan Wells, who replaced Davis, carried 26 times for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Sideline slants

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Raiders inactive players were WR Carlos Francis, QB Rich Gannon, WR Johnnie Morant, DE Sam Williams, OT Chad Slaughter, DT Tommy Kelly, and DT Grant Irons.

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Former Raider DT Junior Ioane was inactive for the Texans.

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The Raiders were whistled for eight false start infractions.


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