Power Rankings: Raiders can't hold on in close game with the Texans

The Oakland Raiders fought hard on Sunday against the Houston Texans, but were unable to pull off the win. The team finishes their 49-day road stretch 2-3 after defeating the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. For the first time since September, the Raiders will play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this Sunday and stay put for the next three weeks.

Here's an updated look at the power rankings after Week 8:

Current Ranking: 19

Previous Ranking: 18

Analysis:

The Raiders have been one of the NFL's most pleasant surprises, but they missed a golden opportunity Sunday to put themselves on the inside track in the AFC playoff race. Oakland had an eight-point lead over the Texans midway through the third quarter, and Derek Carr and the offense were going up and down the field on the Houston defense. But Deshaun Watson put Houston on top with consecutive touchdown drives covering 77 and 75 yards, then ran out the clock on the final possession with a trio of first downs. Watson did this with his right eye nearly swollen shut following a cleat to the face on his fourth-quarter touchdown pass. Not how Jon Gruden wanted to end a largely successful marathon road swing. But all is not lost. The Raiders will finally play their first true home game since Sept. 15, with favorable matchups over the next three weeks. Just win, baby.

Current Ranking: 19

Previous Ranking: 18

Analysis:

This is not a slam on Carr, who entered last week with an NFL-best completion percentage of 74.1. Thing is, quarterbacks get too much glory when things are going well, too much blame when things go south. It's not Carr's fault the Oakland defense could not get off the field in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Texans, and it's not his fault Tyrell Williams had two costly drops in the fourth quarter. But if the Raiders want to run off a few victories in a row on this upcoming three-game homestand against the Lions, Chargers and Bengals, it starts with Carr limiting those lapses into inconsistency.

Current Ranking: 20

Previous Ranking: 17

Analysis:

The Raiders battled, but Deshaun Watson was just a little too much. It happens. The Raiders looked a little out of gas at the end of a long road trip. We’ll see if they look rejuvenated during a three-game homestand that starts this week.

Current Ranking: 19

Previous Ranking: 20

Analysis:

Sunday's loss to the Houston Texans is something of a microcosm for the 2019 Raiders season.

In many respects, the Raiders played well. They piled up 378 yards of total offense—just 10 fewer than the Texans. Quarterback Derek Carr had an outstanding game, passing for 285 yards and three scores while posting a passer rating of 125.

For most of the game, the Raiders led. But Oakland's defense, while better in 2019 than it was a year ago, couldn't hold the lead late. And a Raiders team that can't afford miscues committed far too many, piling up 100 yards on 11 penalties.

It was a disappointing result, to be sure. But Oakland came close to winning its third game of the season against a team that made the playoffs last season. As the Raiders' time in Oakland winds down, the team is headed in the right direction.

Current Ranking: 17

Previous Ranking: 14

Analysis:

They did a lot of good things against the Texans last week, things that should carry over. They finally get a home game this week against the Lions.

Get an exclusive look at the top photos from the Raiders' Week 8 matchup against the Houston Texans.

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