LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Houston Texans and the Raiders spent their bye weeks in similar fashion. The AFC’s only one-victory teams had extra time to try to figure out why they are looking up at the rest of the conference in the standings, despite being competitive almost every week.
“I actually got a really good feeling from watching the tape,” Raiders receiver Davante Adams said. “Obviously, you look at the record, and none of us are proud of that part. … But you even look at some of the power rankings and the fact that they have us where they have us after having one victory at this point shows that there’s something that we’re doing out there that people are taking notice of and just not finishing to the best of our ability.”
The Texans (1-3-1) have a similar lament to the Raiders (1-4) heading into Sunday’s meeting at Allegiant Stadium (1:05 p.m., KLAS, Channel 8). Both teams have played four one-score games, with Houston’s lone win 13-6 over Jacksonville heading into the bye week.
Houston blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter of a Week 1 tie against Indianapolis, blew another fourth-quarter lead in Week 2 in a loss at Denver, lost on a walk-off field goal by Chicago in Week 3 and was neck and neck with the Chargers in Week 4 until a late Los Angeles TD made it a 10-point loss.
“We’ve had our moments … (but) I don’t like the way we’ve finished the games as much as anything,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said. “We had so many opportunities early on, but that’s a part of the growth too, to figure out how to finish a game.”
The Raiders know the feeling, with late comebacks against the Chargers, Titans and Chiefs falling short. In their other loss, they blew a 20-point lead against Arizona.
Their 0-4 record in one-score games comes a year after they thrived in those situations, going 7-2 to earn a surprising playoff berth.
“We didn’t win as many games as we thought we would at this point, that’s for sure,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “But it’s all within so many points. We know that we’re close, and again we’ve always said this — close doesn’t count, it doesn’t matter.”
The Raiders also experienced another kind of loss this week, with an injury to cornerback Nate Hobbs. He was placed on injured reserve with a broken hand. Showing the ability to defend both from the slot and the outside, he’s been the team’s best secondary performer.
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, in his first year, will experience a reunion of sorts. His younger brother, Ben, is in his second year on Houston’s staff where he is wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.
The matchup marks the third time the brothers have squared off as opposing NFL coaches. Josh came out on the winning side in 2013 between New England and Tampa Bay and in 2021 between the Patriots and Texans.
“These are always interesting,” Josh McDaniels said. “I’ve got a lot of respect and admiration for my brother and the job he does. He’s a very good coach, and these are fun things to look back on years from now talking about, you know, when we’ve played each other and coached against one another. I’ve tried to recruit my mom and dad to silver and black for sure this week, which I think I’m winning that war right now.”