Oakland Raiders (12-4) at Houston Texans (9-7), Saturday Jan. 7 4:35 PM ET
Line: Texans -4
The NFL playoffs are here! How exciting! Now watch two hideous quarterback situations play out in front of you.
We always knew the Houston Texans were going to give us ugly play under center. Unfortunately, the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts couldn’t quite edge them out, so now the Texans are in the playoffs despite finishing 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Having said that, now let’s find out why they are probably going to win this game.
The Raiders are in the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. They had a really good regular season and were looking like a feel good story. Sure, they had defensive issues, but it was OK, because their offense was so good. Why, their quarterback Derek Carr was considered an outside candidate for the MVP! Then, Carr broke his leg, and all the good feelings collapsed. Oh, it gets worse though. Backup quarterback Matt McGloin got banged up in Oakland’s season finale, and now it seems that Connor Cook may be leading the Raiders into the postseason. They will be on the road, and the Texans, for all their faults, have a good defense.
People often think of the fifth seed as having a favorable matchup against the fourth seed, because the fourth seed is always the worse division winner. They usually have a worse record than the top wild card. However, you can’t underestimate home field advantage, and somehow the Texans may not have the worst starting quarterback in this game.
Prediction: Texans 21, Raiders 13
Derek Carr, QB Out
Stacy McGee, DT Questionable
Austin Howard, OT Questionable
Karl Joseph, S Questionable
Matt McGloin, QB Questionable
Johnathan Joseph, CB Questionable
John Simon, LB Questionable
Brian Cushing, LB Questionable
Jay Prosch, FB Questionable
Lamar Miller, RB Questionable