|Other Week 4 Game Recaps|
|BAL at NE||BUF at MIA||CIN at CLE||DAL at DEN||DET at CHI||GB at MIN||NYG at KC||NYJ at NO|
|OAK at HOU||SD at PIT||SEA at IND||STL at SF||TB at WAS||TEN at JAX|
Week 4 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 6, Houston Texans 29
|QB JaMarcus Russell, Pass: 12 - 33 - 128 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0|
Once again, Jamarcus Russell demonstrated that if you need a ball thrown hard and straight, he's your guy. Otherwise, there wasn't much for the Raiders or Raiders' fans to get excited about. With the exception of a short pass dropped by the fullback and a 17 yard pass to Louis Murphy ruled (incorrectly) as an incompletion, Russell managed to over-throw and under-throw receivers at a dizzying pace against the Texans. Despite having one of the strongest arms in the league, Russell only threw one ball deep downfield (incomplete) and all of his completed passes traveled no more then 8 or 9 yards downfield in the air. Russell lost one fumble and rushed for one yard (to go with 2 sacks for 8 lost yards) as the Raiders totaled a mere 8 first downs (6 via the passing game). Most of Russell's passes seemed to be thrown as hard as possible regardless of down and distance with many Raiders' receivers having the ball speed by them before they even turned to the quarterback.
|RB Justin Fargas, Rush: 10 - 24 - 0, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets)|
Fargas led the Raiders with 10 carries for 24 yards yet found running lanes between the tackles hard to come by. His longest run (13 yards) came on a toss around the right end to end the first half. Otherwise most of his carries came between the tackles and resulted in only a yard or two of positive gain. Fargas also added one reception for 14 yards.
|RB Darren McFadden, Rush: 6 - -3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)|
McFadden had a disappointing game with 6 carries for minus 4 yards. McFadden was not only stopped in the backfield with alarming regularity, but also seemed to take an extraordinary amount of abuse as he was gang-tackled and up-ended behind the line of scrimmage. McFadden's lone gain on the day (4 yards) came in the third quarter after the game seemed well out of hand. He also added one reception for 5 yards.
|RB Michael Bush, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)|
Bush started the game as the complement to Darren McFadden but quickly lost his carries to Justin Fargas once the Texans proved their run defense would be effective. Bush had 3 carries for 10 yards and one reception for 4 yards but lost the ball to Houston on the reception.
|WR Louis Murphy, Rush: 1 - -7 - 0, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (10 targets)|
Louis Murphy had a deceptively effective game against Houston. He notched three catches for 34 yards to lead the Raiders and had another 17 yard reception taken away after review even though replays showed that he had both feet down in bounds. Murphy appears to be quarterback Jamarcus Russell's preferred target in the rare event that he has time to throw the ball without pressure. Murphy continues to show excellent route running ability and seems to easily find openings in single-coverage.
|WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Rush: 1 - 20 - 0, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (6 targets)|
Darrius Heyward-Bey only had 34 total yards on two touches (one rush for 20 yards and one reception for 14 yards) against the Texans. He was covered all game by Duante Robinson and found very little room to work, particularly down the field. Quarterback Jamarcus Russell avoiding throwing the ball downfield where Heyward-Bey should be most effective.
|WR Chaz Schilens|
Schilens was inactive against the Texans after being a game-time decision during the week.
|TE Zach Miller, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (6 targets)|
Tight end Zach Miller had three receptions for 33 yards against the Texans but was not utilized as much more then an outlet option in the passing game. None of his receptions or targets was very far down the field and he did not have much room to maneuver amongst the Texans' linebacking corps. He suffered a concussion during the game and his status for next week is unknown.
|QB Matt Schaub, Pass: 11 - 22 - 224 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - -1 - 0|
Texans' quarterback Matt Schaub had a deceptively effective game against the Raiders. Despite only completing 11 of 22 passes, Schaub made a number of clutch throws to put the Texans in scoring position. The Texans finally found a successful running game meaning that Schaub didn't need to throw nearly as much as usual, particularly in the 2nd half. He had 224 yards passing (more then 10 yards-per-attempt) and completed three passes for more then 40 yards. Schaub just missed another long 15 yard completion on a ball to Owen Daniels that was bobbled and should have been caught. Furthermore, his lone interception was on a deep ball to the endzone towards the end of the first half and another long completion was disrupted by pass-interference on the defense. Schaub (and the Texans as a whole) were not particularly effective on third down passing situations but did manage to convert 7 passing first downs. Schaub displayed excellent touch on most of the balls he threw but was forced to "throw it away" more then normal as the Texans worked to control the clock and minimize mistakes. Schaub also might have had better numbers if not for a pass interference call on a deep pass to Andre Johnson, a defensive holding call on another pass to Johnson, and a roughing the passer call on another incompletion.
|RB Steve Slaton, Rush: 21 - 65 - 1, Rec: 2 - 24 - 1 (2 targets)|
For the second week in a row, Steve Slaton had a productive game out of the backfield. He finished the day with 21 carries for 65 yards and 2 catches for 24 yards to go with two touchdowns but the numbers do not tell the whole story. Slaton was often bottled up in the backfield against the Raiders but his natural elusiveness allowed him to spin losses in to big games. Slaton did have 6 carries for a loss or no gain, but his 32 yard touchdown run was set up by a beautiful 11 yard rush where he reversed field and outran the Oakland defenders. It appeared that the Texans favored using Ryan Moats between the tackles while giving Slaton the ball on tosses and sweeps to the outside. Steve Slaton also lost a fumble again this week, bringing his season total to 6 lost fumbles.
|RB Ryan Moats, Rush: 15 - 56 - 0|
Moats was effective spelling starter Steve Slaton, rushing for 56 yards on 15 carries. Most of Moats's touches were on runs between the tackles where he consistently gained 3 or 4 yards, helping the Texans sustain drives. Moats entered the game on the Texans fourth series and carried 3 straight times for 24 yards on the Texans fifth series before Slaton returned to rush for a touchdown. Moats returned again on the Texans' fourth series of the second half before splitting carries with Steve Slaton in the fourth quarter.
|RB Chris Brown|
Chris Brown did not receive any touches against the Raiders, giving up his position as Steve Slaton's complement to Ryan Moates.
|WR Andre Johnson, Rec: 2 - 66 - 0 (8 targets)|
Andre Johnson was held to 66 yards on two receptions but had three more deep targets (an incompletion, an interception and an interference call) that did not result in catches. Johnson's 62 yard reception in the first quarter appeared to get the Texans' offense going after a long and fruitless initial drive. Johnson attracted double-coverage on every snap and was rarely open as Michael Huff blanketed him anytime he was more then 10 yards downfield. Johnson's only other catch of the game was a short reception on 3rd and 6 that did not result in a first down for the Texans at the end of the first quarter. Matt Schaub did not target Johnson much later in the game as the Texans turned to the run and short passes to the tight ends and running backs.
|WR Kevin Walter, Rec: 1 - 41 - 0 (3 targets)|
Walter only had one reception against the Raiders but it came on a 2nd and 6 call against cornerback Chris Johnson, who the Texans picked on all day. Walter eluded the jam at the line of scrimmage and then streaked down the sideline as Johnson struggled to catch up. After catching the ball, Walter secured it with both hands and gained another 9 yards after initial contact with the defender.
|WR Jacoby Jones, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
Jacoby Jones only had one catch for six yards against the Raiders but certainly made his mark on special teams. Jones returned six punts for a net of seven yards but took a free kick (after a safety) 95 yards for a touchdown. On the return, Jones streaked up the middle before veering right with such quickness that the Raiders' punter immediately gave up pursuit. Jones also fumbled one kick return but the ball was recovered by the Texans.
|TE Owen Daniels, Rec: 2 - 48 - 0 (5 targets)|
Owen Daniels finished the game against the Raiders with two receptions for 48 yards (long of 44) and was otherwise not a factor in the passing game. The long reception came on a deep pass down the seam on a play similar to one that resulted in an incompletion to Daniels in the first quarter. After the completion, Schaub attempted one more short pass to Daniels before turning to other receivers for the rest of the day.