The Houston Texans defense was too much for Connor Cook to handle as they took down the Oakland Raiders in their AFC Wild Card matchup.
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The story of this game was the Houston defense. They simply confused Raiders quarterback Connor Cook all game long. Cook had enough of a task starting his first career game in the playoffs, but facing the number one defense in the league did not help. Led by Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney, the young quarterback was sacked three times and hurried many more. By the tine time first half ended, it was 20-7 in favor of the Texans and they never looked back.
When your punter has to be run out there ten times as Marquette King was, it’s not a good day.
Despite the offensive troubles early in the game, Oakland stayed in it thanks to the defense. Early in the second half, the Texans had the opportunity to put the game away and weren’t able to. The Raiders came up with defensive stops and gave their offense the football. A touchdown pass from Cook to Andre Holmes made the game close, but a Corey Moore interception kept the game out of reach.
The Texans offense wasn’t great but they made enough plays to succeed. One particularly solid moment came late in the second quarter when Brock Osweiler connected with DeAndre Hopkins for 38 yards, setting up a touchdown to Hopkins two plays later.
This game can be summarized by the next point. Oakland was 2-16 on third down and turned the ball over three times. You aren’t going to win many games playing that way.
Jadeveon Clowney, Texans — Many called Clowney a bust over his last two seasons. He proved them all wrong with his performance, netting a batted ball and an interception.
Whitney Mercilus, Texans — Mercilus had a huge day, getting to Cook twice in a performance that almost made fans forget that J.J. Watt was on the sidelines.
Brock Osweiler, Texans — Osweiler rebounded well after making his first start since being benched. He only threw for 168 yards and a touchdown, running for one more, but he played mistake-free football.