After a week away from the gridiron, the Oakland Raiders are back in primetime tonight, as they square off against the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Brock Osweiler and the 6-3 Texans are coming off seven-point win over the Detroit Lions last week, and as a result of the Kansas City Chiefs loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday, the Silver and Black can take over sole possession of first place in the AFC West with a win tonight.
The Raiders come into tonight's bout with the Texans about as healthy as possible considering it's Week 11 of the regular season, and heading into the game, Head Coach Jack Del Rio had the full complement of the 53-man roster at his disposal.
However, only 46 players can dress for the game, so 90 minutes before kickoff the following players were ruled inactive:
Quarterback Connor Cook
Wide receiver Johnny Holton
Cornerback Dexter McDonald
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton
Tackle Matt McCants
Guard Vadal Alexander
Tight end Ryan O'Malley
Not listed as inactive though? Cornerback Sean Smith who looks poised to make his return to game action tonight.
The captains for tonight's Monday Night Football matchup are quarterback Derek Carr, defensive end Khalil Mack, center Rodney Hudson, safety Reggie Nelson, tackle Donald Penn and safety Brynden Trawick.
The Raiders won the toss, and have elected to defer to the second half.
The Texans were able to convert several third downs on their opening drive, and as a result of the big plays on third down, they drove the length of the field into Raiders territory.
However, Ken Norton, Jr.'s group was able to buckle down in the red zone, and force a 33-yard field goal attempt by Nick Novak.
The kick was good, so with 8:34 left in the first quarter, the Texans have taken an early 3-0 lead.
The Raiders weren't able to get anything going on their first drive, but after forcing a Texans punt they have now driven into the red zone.
The first quarter has ended with the Texans still leading 3-0, but the Silver and Black are knocking on the door, as they have possession at the Houston 17-yard line.
Derek Carr didn't waste any time getting the Raiders on the board in the second quarter, as he connected with running back Jalen Richard for a 17-yard touchdown on the first play after the quarter break.
Sebastian Janikowski added the extra point, so with 14:54 left in the first half, the Raiders have now gone ahead of the Texans 7-3.
The Texans gave the Silver and Black a gift on the ensuing kickoff as Tyler Ervin fumbled the ball on the short kick, which was eventually recovered by Taiwan Jones.
The Raiders weren't able to get in the end zone, but a 19-yard Janikowski field goal has extended their lead to 10-3 with 12:48 left in the second quarter.
The Texans have now managed to tie the game, as Osweiler threw a dart to Braxton Miller for a 12-yard touchdown reception. The PAT was good, so with 7:59 left before the intermission, we're now all tied up at 10-10.
We've just reached the two-minute warning with the score still tied, but the Raiders now have possession at their own 29-yard line.
After punting the ball back to the Texans with just under two minutes left, linebacker Malcolm Smith picked off Osweiler on the Texans first play of the drive to give the Raiders another chance to put up points before the half.
However, the Silver and Black were unable to take advantage, so at the half, we remained all tied at 10-10.
The Raiders will receive the second half kickoff when play resumes.
The Raiders received the ball to start the second half, but on their very first play from scrimmage, Carr threw a ball to Amari Cooper that was intercepted by Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye.
Brock Osweiler and the Texans were able to take advantage, driving the ball down the field, and capping their first drive of the second half with a one-yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller.
After the successful PAT, Houston has gone ahead of the Raiders 17-10 with 8:32 left in the third quarter.
Carr and the offense have answered though, and while they weren't able to get into the end zone, they were able to earn three points following a 20-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
Following the successful kick, the Raiders now trail 17-13 with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
The third quarter has come to a close, and the Raiders still trail the Texans 17-13.
The Texans have gotten those three points back, as Nick Novak has successfully connected on a 29-yard field goal to extend the Houston lead to 20-13 with 10:57 left in regulation.
Well, how about that; the Raiders have tied the game just one play after falling behind by a touchdown as Carr found fullback Jamize Olawale for a 75-yard touchdown reception.
The PAT was successful, so with 10:44 left in the fourth quarter, we're all tied up at 20-20.
The Raiders made sure to capitalize on the opportunity, as they went 85 yards in just five plays, capping off the drive with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper from Derek Carr.
Janikowski added the PAT, so with just under five minutes left in the game, the Raiders have gone ahead 27-20.
The Raiders forced a Texans three-and-out on their ensuing possession, so as we hit the two-minute warning, the Silver and Black have the ball at the Houston 48-yard line.
The Raiders ran out the clock and secured the win.