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Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans: AFC Wild Card Open Thread

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 7 January 2017
Location: Houston, TX
Time: 3:35 PM Central Stadium: NRG Stadium
TV: ESPN Radio: XM Ch 225 (OAK)/82 (HOU)
Sirius Ch 81 (OAK)/82 HOU
TV Announcers: Sean McDonough
Jon Gruden
Know Thy Foes: Silver & Black Pride
Battle Red Blog
Weather: Indoors
Line: Houston -4, Over/Under 37 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Texans 16, Raiders 13
Final Score: Texans 27, Raiders 14

It's playoff time in the National Football League, ladies and gentlemen. Sadly, the Minnesota Vikings will not be partaking in this year's festivities, but there's no reason we can't all gather around and watch the playoffs anyway. Things will be kicking off deep in the heart of Texas, as the AFC South Champs, the Houston Texans, play host to the Oakland Raiders.

This has widely been considered the "least attractive" of the four Wild Card Weekend games, and for pretty good reason. Both of these teams have issues at the quarterback spot. We all saw what happened to Derek Carr back in Week 16 that ended his season. The Raiders were going to go with Matt McGloin at quarterback, but he got injured in Week 17, leaving them to turn to rookie Connor Cook. Cook will be making his first NFL start today, and he'll do so against a Texans defense that has been stout this season even without all-everything defensive end J.J. Watt, who went out for the year early in the season. It doesn't help matters that the Raiders will be playing without left tackle Donald Penn, who will miss his first chance to play in an NFL preseason game.

Houston has had their own quarterback problems. Brock Osweiler, he of the huge contract this past offseason, was the Texans starter for most of the year before getting benched for Tom Savage. Savage (OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH) got injured (OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) as well, so the Texans have gone back to Osweiler for this week's contest.

As you can see from my score prediction, I fully expect an ugly, low-scoring contest in this one. Osweiler has been bad this season, to be sure, but it's hard to back a guy that's making his first NFL start on the road in a playoff game against a very good defense. All Osweiler has to do is not screw it up too badly. . .he should be able to do that. Right?

The winner of this game won't know who they will play until the second AFC Wild Card game is completed tomorrow.

Enjoy the game, ladies and gentlemen, and we'll have a thread up for Saturday's NFC game about half an hour before kickoff.