The Texans' offense played an old-fashion game of keepaway on Sunday in Oakland.
Houston held the ball for a suffocating 38:36, compared to just 21:24 for the Raiders. In the first quarter, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and company marched 70 yards in 13 plays, burning 8:07 off the clock and scoring a touchdown.
They topped themselves at the start of the fourth quarter, marching 52 yards in 14 plays, chewing 9:21 off the game clock to set up a Randy Bullock 46-yard field goal. That 9-minute drive late, which featured 13 straight runs, was critical the team's success, according to Fitzpatrick.
"You've got to be able to have drives like that to win football games and it was great," Fitzpatrick said. "For them, they went and scored a touchdown and we knew we needed to respond with a drive that chewed up some clock and we put it on those guys up front. They knew we were going to run the ball. We knew we were running it and we were able to chew up all that clock."
The early long drive, in union with a game-opening possession that took 5:23 off the game clock, and resulted in a touchdown, helped batter the Oakland defense.
"It wears them down after a while," wide receiver Andre Johnson said on Monday. "When you get your
running game going, it opens up everything else."
For the second straight game, the Texans didn't allow a sack. That feat alone is impressive, but the line also helped dominate time of possession, and clear the way for Arian Foster to get 138 yards on 28 carries. Because of that, Foster and the o-line were given a game ball on Monday. Left guard Brandon Brooks echoed what Johnson said, in regards to the long drives punishing opposing defenses.
"It tires them out and kind of wears them down," Brooks said. "It also goes back to the conditioning level that our coaches expect of us."
The Texans now face a Giants squad in Week 3 that has allowed 200 combined rushing yards through the first two weeks of 2014.