The 2017 NFL Playoffs kick off with the least desirable match-ups of the postseason as Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans take on Connor Cook and the Oakland Raiders. Osweiler was bad enough to be benched leading up to the postseason, but is back in the starting role by default because of Tom Savage suffering a concussion. The Raiders had a Super Bowl contending team under Derek Carr, but with he and backup Matt McGloin not in there, Cook, a rookie, is making his first career start.
One big factor to consider right off the bat here is that the Texans were 7-1 at home this year and 2-6 on the road. The Raiders were good in general, as they were 6-2 at home and 6-2 on the road. But Oakland won the majority of their games via shootouts because of what Carr was able to do. Houston won their games via some grind-em out, lower-scoring defensive performances.
The Texans are the best team in the NFL defensively in terms of yards, and it’s tough to imagine Cook being able to light them up. I also have visions of Osweiler flat out sucking, and the team also having miserable flashbacks of the 30-0 loss they suffered in the opening round of last year’s playoffs when Brian Hoyer was under center. Which team is the lesser of two evils at this point? I want to pick Houston to win this one for everything except I think Osweiler will blow it. Raiders 23, Texans 17
Game: Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texans
Date/Time: Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 4:35 p.m. ET
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Television: ESPN - Jon Gruden & Sean McDonough
NFL Odds: Texans by 4, Over/Under = 37