While the Oakland Raiders, playing their first playoff game since 2002, suffered a debilitating loss when their star quarterback Derek Carr, who was having a stellar season, was ruled out through injury, the Houston Texans will have to deal without their best defender in JJ Watt. They will face the highest remaining seed in the playoffs, either the third-seeded Steelers, the fourth-seeded Texans or the fifth-seeded Raiders. However, in the postseason, the Houston Texans haven't always impressed, so the Raiders will look to take advantage of that vulnerability. So although Cook may be historically inexperienced for a playoff starter, it wouldn't exactly be inconceivable for the Raiders to pull off the win anyway. The NFL Odds for the game have the Texans favored to pick up the victory in this one. Then Matt McGloin injured his shoulder last week and Cook finally got his chance.
On their next possession, the Seahawks drove 82 yards in eight plays capped by Rawls' 4-yard touchdown run, although Hauschka's missed conversion kick left Seattle ahead by only 19-6.
"Hop ran the route based upon what he felt was the best leverage from that corner and really made my job easy", Osweiler said. One from Amari Cooper on a perfectly thrown long ball, one of the few the Raiders actually tried, and the worst being from Michael Crabtree when the Raiders had gotten the ball back after their first score.
The 26-year-old Osweiler used this time on the bench to observe the game from a different perspective, and it helped him learn and see some things that he didn't see before.
If you're a fan of good quarterback play, stay as far as you can from this game. The Raiders had a season-low 203 yards of offense against the NFL's top-ranked defense.
In Seattle, Thomas Rawls set a record when he became the first Seahawks running back to post 100 or more rushing yards in the first half of a post-season game.
Either quarterback could surprise, but it should be a battle of the defenses in Houston on Saturday.
However, a big part of the ineffective offense was associated to the cowardly game plan going into this one.
And he expressed it via twitter right after the game.
Maybe it still won't matter that the Raiders allow more yards per play (6.1) than any team in the National Football League because they still have not allowed a point in the final three minutes of any fourth quarter this season - which is to say, they win close games.
The big inactive for the Texans is quarterback Tom Savage, who was in concussion protocol after getting roughed up a bit in Week 17's road loss to the rival Tennessee Titans. If the Steelers win, the Patriots will face the victor of the Texans-Raiders game. We envisioned a great season.