PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- The offense accounted for four turnovers -- two interceptions by quarterback Aaron Brooks and a pair of lost fumbles on consecutive series' by tight end Randal Williams. The Raiders opened with a nice slant pattern for a 21-yard gain to Randy Moss but that ended up being the longest gain of the day. Brooks' 42 attempts gained 238 yards. He was sacked five times. Moss caught four passes for 44 yards, a slight improvement but still not enough to be a game-changer.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D-minus -- ReShard Lee had the longest gain of the day, breaking into the clear for a 13-yard gain in which he fumbled. Demarcus Faggins picked it up and raced 58 yards the other way for the game's first touchdown. Lead ballcarrier Justin Fargas had 14 rushes for 49 yards and no gain longer than seven yards. The only real effect the running game had was negative.
PASS DEFENSE: A -- With 32 yards passing and five sacks totaling 37 yards in losses, the Texans finished with minus-5 yards passing. Andre Johnson caught one pass for nine yards. Eric Moulds caught one pass for three yards. Derrick Burgess had 1.5 sacks to key a furious rush. Eventually, the Texans simply gave up passing and got away with it because of Oakland's offensive ineptitude.
RUSH DEFENSE: B -- The Raiders ad one lapse at the end of the third quarter, when Ron Dayne carried six consecutive times and gained 57 yards, setting up a 41-yard Kris Brown field goal. Dayne's other 12 carries netted 38 yards, as he finished with 95 yards on 18 carries. In all, the Texans gained 129 yards on 32 attempts and except for one drive had trouble penetrating the Raiders' front seven inside or outside.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Erase Chris Carr's 34-yard punt return, setting up Oakland's lone offensive touchdown, and it was a failing grade. Sebastian Janikowski, playing with a sore back, missed field goal attempts of 53, 39 and 29 yards. His short kickoff to open the second half was run back 87 yards by Jerome Mathis to the Oakland three yard-line. The Texans scored on the next play, tying the score 14-14. A 57-yard punt return by Dexter Webb on a fake reverse set up a field goal.
COACHING: C -- The problems were in the execution, not the game plans. John Shoop's first effort as offensive coordinator showed some nice wrinkles. But the Raiders twice lined up incorrectly in the second half and were forced to burn timeouts. They played the last eight minutes without any timeouts at their disposal. The decision not to sign a kicker and let Janikowski handle it was a disaster. The Raiders got another stellar effort from defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Texans Report Card:
PASSING OFFENSE: F -- The pass protection was terrible and David Carr was just as bad on a day when the team passed only 14 times and finished with a net of minus-5 passing yards. The offensive line is missing three starters to season-ending injuries, but Carr wasn't always able to make quick enough decisions and dump off the ball. He completed seven passes for 32 yards, but was sacked five times for minus-37 yards. During two of the sacks, he fumbled the football.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Ron Dayne played an inspired game after spending the past three weeks on the inactive list. The offensive line didn't create many holes, but Dayne pushed his way through and dragged defenders with him to a season-high 95 rushing yards. He kept the Texans in the ballgame by accounting for the majority of their offensive net yardage. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Wali Lundy carried the ball just nine times for 33 yards, but he scored the only offensive touchdown of the day with a three-yard run in the third quarter.
PASS DEFENSE: A -- Aaron Brooks finished with 25 completions on 42 attempts, but he never got the ball into the end zone and he threw two interceptions. DeMeco Ryans and Dexter McCleon each had interceptions, while five players sacked Brooks. The pressure was constantly around Brooks, who was hurried a number of times. And struggled to deal with the pressure the Texans were bringing it him. It was a great day for every facet of the defense against the pass.
RUSH DEFENSE: B -- The Texans kept up their strong defense against the run, allowing Justin Vargas just 49 yards rushing on 14 attempts. ReShard Lee finished with 42 rushing yards, but also had one fumble. The Texans allowed just one rushing touchdown. DeMeco Ryans led the way with 15 total tackles, 14 solo.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Kris Brown kicked three good field goals and the return game had two big plays to help lift the Texans to the victory. Jerome Mathis had an 87-yard return in his return from foot surgery. Dexter Wynn had a 58-yard punt return -- the longest of his career. Coverage teams weren't as strong as they have been and punter Chad Stanley struggled, but if not for the special teams, the Texans would not have won the game.
COACHING: B -- A fake reverse on the big punt return, proved to be the perfect call. The Texans also stuck with Ron Dayne when the passing game failed to work. It was a good decision to activate him again. In a game when the Texans had plenty of opportunities to give up, they kept plugging away. The defense played exceptional and was on top of the Raiders' game plan.