Raiders at Texans: The next step

The Houston Texans are trying to take the next step, while the Oakland Raiders are hoping for their first postseason win in more than a decade.

It’s the game nobody wants to watch. The Texans and Raiders, two teams without a quarterback or much hope to advance beyond the Wild Card weekend. Houston has been the weak sister of the AFC playoff participants all year, while the Raiders went from contender to afterthought with one broken leg.

Oakland wasn’t supposed to be in this position. On Christmas Eve, the Raiders were whipping the Indianapolis Colts until Trent Cole sacked Derek Carr. The leg gave, the hush came, and Oakland’s playoff chances were dead on arrival. Come the following Sunday, Matt McGloin and Connor Cook struggled to produce yardage in a 24-6 defeat against the Denver Broncos. The loss, combined with a win by Kansas City, put the Raiders on the road as a No. 5 seed.

Houston is here by an equally volatile path. The Texans spent $72 million on Brock Osweiler to fix their perennial quarterback issues, only to see them grow worse. Osweiler threw 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions before being benched for Tom Savage, a former fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh who has been more caretaker than revelation. However, a concussion in Week 17 has Houston in a quandary, perhaps opening the door for an Osweiler return.

And so here we are. The Raiders and Texans. A battle for one win before quietly going into the abyss.