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Texans prep for Black Hole experience

The Texans travel back to Oakland for the first time since 2010.

They'll face the Raiders at Coliseum, which is home to the infamous Black Hole section on the 100 level behind one of the end zones. Fans there are all dressed in black, and many are in elaborate costumes. They're recognized as some of the rowdiest and most hard core fans in all of sports, and one former Raider has a lot of respect for the group.

"They're very loyal fans, let's put it that way," Texans punter Shane Lechler said. "They're with you

whether you're down or not because the last 10 years I was there we were down pretty much every year. But the fan support was always there, strong."

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the Titans to a win there last season, thinks the Oakland environment is one of the toughest to play in the NFL.

"Definitely is, and there are a lot of great atmospheres in the league, but that's one," Fitzpatrick said. "I'll be talking a lot with Shane Lecher I'm sure on some of his experiences there and some of the stuff that he's seen. I played there a few times. It's always a crazy atmosphere."

Fitzpatrick flourished there in 2013, completing 30-of-42 passes for 320 yards. He tossed a pair of touchdowns, wasn't intercepted and had a quarterback rating of 109.2.

Head coach Bill O'Brien acknowledged what a challenge the Oakland crowd represents, but also said that's true of NFL away games as a whole.

"Any road environment in this League is tough, in my experience," O'Brien said. "They're all tough. They're all loud."

Kickoff is Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS-11/KHOU.


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