Raiders/Texans: Who helped & hurt themselves

Exhibition games mean nothing in terms of standings that count. Saturday night's 19-17 Oakland Raider loss to the Houston Texans is no different. The game, however, still matters in terms roster spots and positions on the depth chart. The Oakland Raiders had their share of players and units who helped and hurt themselves. Here's a closer look:


First-team offense: With the exception of Kerry Collins' interception, the first unit moved the ball without trouble against Houston's starting defense. Collins made solid decisions and spread the ball around while running back Lamont Jordan had his second straight impressive outing. Zack Crockett also continued to show that his is more than just a short-yardage specialist. Unlike last week's 21-13 loss to San Francisco, the Oakland Raiders drives did not stall in the red zone.

Backup receivers: The Raiders hope that Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry return from injuries sooner rather than later but at least they left Saturday's game knowing that backups Doug Gabriel, Alvis Whitted and Johnnie Morant might be able to get the job down if needed. That threesome combined for 10 catches, including two Gabriel touchdowns.

Chris Carr: The rookie free agent cornerback from Boise State continued to help his cause to make the roster as a returner. Carr's 32-yard punt return set up Sebastian Janikowdki's 39 yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

Kirk Morrison: With the Raiders depth at linebacker thinning with Sam Williams knee injury that will likely end his season, Morrison, a rookie out of San Diego State, had an active first half.

Warren Sapp and Ted Washington: Both were huge busts last season but for the second straight week showed why they are best suited to being 4-3 defensive tackles.


Punt coverage unit: It might only be one play but Reggie Swinton's 57-yard return in the second quarter is not what special teams coach Joe Avezzano has in mind.

Marques Tuiasosopo: His 6-of-9 performance for 73 yards looks impressive on the stat sheet but not his driving interception for the second straight week.

Sebastian Janikowski: Not that his job is in jeopardy and missing kicks of 49 and 54 yards are certainly no disgrace but the Raiders can ill-afford to have chances wasted.

Chad Slaughter: Houston linebacker Charlie Anderson ran right by him for a third quarter sack of Tuiasosopo.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at

SB Report Top Stories