1. Brotherly rivalry
Head Coach Josh McDaniels knows one of the Houston Texans coaches quite well, considering they grew up in the same household.
Josh McDaniels' younger brother, Ben, will be on the opposite sideline this Sunday serving as the Texans wide receivers coach & passing game coordinator. Ben McDaniels previously worked under his older brother with the Denver Broncos for two seasons. The last time the two crossed paths in the league was in the 2016 preseason when Josh McDaniels' New England Patriots defeated Ben McDaniels' Chicago Bears 23-22.
"I've got a lot of respect and admiration for my brother and the job he does," Josh McDaniels said Wednesday. "He's a very good coach, and these are fun things to look back on years from now, talking about when we've played each other and coached against one another.
"I've tried to recruit my mom and dad to silver and black for sure this week, which I think I'm winning that war right now," he joked. "But it is what it is. We won't talk a whole lot about football."
2. Texas ties
There's more familiarity to be had Sunday as the Raiders will have two defensive coaches facing their former team.
Defensive backs coach/pass game specialist Jason Simmons and defensive line coach Frank Okam both spent time playing for the Texans between 2002-2010. Simmons was also teammates with Derek Carr's older brother David Carr in Houston for five seasons. The former cornerback also had three forced fumbles and two interceptions as a Texan.
The two coaches played a combined 85 games for Houston.
3. Nearing the return of a top cornerback
After missing four games with a thumb injury, cornerback Anthony Averett has been designated to return this week.
While he's yet to be activated off IR, Averett said he's nearing 100 percent health and Josh McDaniels stated the CB could be ready to go for Sunday. The return of the speedy cornerback comes at a great time for the Raiders, considering Nate Hobbs will be missing some time due to a hand injury that put him on Injured/Reserve. Additionally, the Silver and Black could use Averett's speed this Sunday to cover the Texans' top receiving threat Brandin Cooks.
"I went up against [Cooks] two years ago when I was with the Ravens, so I'm a little familiar with him," said Averett. "He's definitely a fast guy, definitely has to respect his speed. He has true speed. But we're going to be prepared for it. I'll be ready for it."
4. Houston, Tae is a problem
The last time Davante Adams faced the Houston Texans, he was a problem for their secondary.
In the Packers' 35-20 victory over the Texans in 2020, Adams finished with 13 catches for 196 yards – both his second-most in a game in his career. He also concluded that game with two touchdowns and 93.7 PFF overall grade.
Adams has gone over the 100 receiving yard mark in three out of five games this season.
5. Las Vegas homecoming
Texans tight end Brevin Jordan is set to return after missing their previous three games, and the second-year tight end, who caught three touchdowns his rookie season, could be a challenge in the red zone for the Raiders defense.
This will not only be Jordan's return to game action, but also a return to his hometown of Las Vegas. He was the No. 1-ranked tight end in country by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com in 2017 playing for Bishop Gorman High School, where he won four straight NIAA 4A State Championships.
6. Feed Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs is approaching some more franchise milestones.
The workhorse back needs 112 rushing yards over the next two games to surpass Marcus Allen (3,688) for the most rushing yards in franchise history in a player's first 50 career games. Additionally, with one more touchdown run, he'll be tied for fifth-most career rushing touchdowns in franchise history.
Things are looking prosperous for Jacobs as he's set his career high in rushing yards his past two games. The Texans defense is also allowing nearly 165 rushing yards per game this season. The Raiders are 5-1 in games where Jacobs has rushed for at least 100 yards and a touchdown.
"He's running extremely violent, and not just the physicality, but his cuts are violent, his mentality is violent," Derek Carr on Jacobs. "You see it when he gets in the open field. We all know he can make people mess and stuff like that, but you've seen a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, him eye the safety out and say, 'Okay, here I come.' And he's going to do it play after play after play."