One of the strangest games for the Houston Texans in team history occurred when they traveled down to Mexico City and were handed a 27-20 loss at the hands of the Oakland Raiders. There was drama during the game at a level that usually does not occur when games are held in NFL stadiums.
At Estadio Azteca, the Texans had to deal with the Raiders, altitude, slick grass, green laser pointers, logistics issues, and questionable officiating calls. Most would say these were excuses for the Texans loss, but it was clear those factors swung the game in the Raiders favor.
“The altitude, it was really high in Mexico so you got tired easier,” said A.J. Bouye of the first meeting with the Raiders. “Everything counts. We are excited for that. The crowd will be behind us this time because it’s in Houston.”
The Texans are using that experience, leading 17-13 in the 4th quarter to only let it slip away late in the game due to some crucial breakdowns by the defense.
“We just have to keep playing four quarters,” said Jadeveon Clowney of the 4th quarter meltdown in week 11. “We played three good quarters against them last time. Fourth quarter came around, we gave up two big plays. We got to stop them, the big plays.”
It was one of the few games where Brock Osweiler looked under control throwing the football, going 26 of 39 for 243 yards along with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
“We came out and started off fast on the first play. The first drive wasn’t a touchdown, but we still moved the ball up and down the field and completed most of our third downs,” said DeAndre Hopkins said of the game.
“I thought Brock did a nice job of getting us into the right play. Got into a good rhythm. Guys ran good routes for him. He delivered the ball accurately,” O’Brien said, describing Osweiler’s performance against the Raiders. “Threw it to the tight ends, the receivers, the backs. Everybody was involved in the passing game. Did a good job.”
Osweiler knows that there is some good that came out of that game performance, but knows that the Raiders will have some new things drawn up for the playoffs.
“I think there’s a lot of really good things that you can pull from that game and take into this game,” Osweiler mentioned. “But at the same token, you have to understand that Oakland’s watching that same tape and they’re ready to show you different looks, they’re ready to play some probably unscouted coverages.”
Seasoned veteran and playoff-tested Vince Wilfork is not hanging his hat on the first meeting, knowing anything is possible in the playoffs.
“It doesn’t matter because playoff football, you expect anything. I don’t think that game has any bearing on this playoff game whatsoever,” explained Wilfork. “Playoffs, it’s kind of simple. It’s kind of simple. You win, you go on. You lose, you go home. It’s going to be up to us what we want to do as a team.”
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