On the one hand, I can't feel as bad about this loss as usual, since the Raiders were playing with a lot of emotion for their lost owner. For every team who has a feel-good ending to a game, there's a team on the other side. Unfortunately, the Texans were on that other side in this one, despite a very good effort. So, let's run through some quick hits on what went on in this one...
- The Texan offense is much different without Andre Johnson. That's not to say they still can't be good, they're just not special. When the Texans needed a couple of drives late, they couldn't get moving because Schaub had to throw to Jacoby Jones instead of AJ. The Texans were able to weather Arian Foster's absence because they had other backs who could step in and fill 80 percent of his production. With Andre, the attention he draws in coverage makes everyone else better when he's on the field.
- Jones looked lost, too, on a few routes. He looked like he had made a step forward last season, but has not shown that big play ability in anything but the return game so far. Maybe it was because he didn't have enough time with Schaub, but Jones does not look like a good second receiver on this team, and may easily be the fourth option behind Andre, Kevin Walter and Owen Daniels.
- Speaking of Walter, this may have been his best game of the season. He's a very steady receiver who looked to be on decline the past year. He made big plays both in the passing game and blocking for the run in this one. On a huge screen play to Arian Foster late, Walter had just as crucial a block downfield as Eric Winston.
- As much blame as is heaped on Matt Schaub for that last play, it was the defense that let this one down. When Mario Williams was in, they were playing great and getting good pressure on Jason Campbell. After Mario went down? That pressure was okay, but was a step late. In short, it went from great to average very, very quickly.
- One player on defense who had a good game with little fanfare was Johnathan Joseph. The Texans have a very good player in him and he continues to show it, even if he doesn't actually show up on the field very often. He just has a knack for being around the ball. I like that.
- Missing Mario will be huge. Huge.
- I'd also like to think the Texans special teams has been solid this season, but they looked bad against the Raiders on that fake punt. Seeing those two blockers running down with the gunner while the ballcarrier runs by them was just bad. I can't believe the Texans didn't see that fake coming on fourth-and-short.