The 2017 NFL postseason gets underway this weekend with Raiders-Texans kicking off the action. It won’t be the Derek Carr-Tom Savage matchup we were all expecting, but it’s almost certain to be a close game.
Key matchup: Oakland’s OTs vs. Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus
The Houston Texans ranked only 24th in sacks this season, but they have two dynamic pass rushers on the edges. Clowney had his best season as a pro, recording six sacks and 52 tackles. On the other side, Mercilus had 7.5 in 15 games.
The Raiders’ offensive line is among the best in football with Donald Penn and Menelik Watson anchoring the outside. Considering Penn is out, the Texans will be sure to put plenty of pressure on Connor Cook, which means Watson and Austin Howard will need to play their best.
Fun fact: This is the first time these teams have met in the postseason, but Texans lead the regular-season series 6-4. The Raiders beat Houston in Mexico City earlier this season, 27-20.