Get live NFL playoff scoring updates, news and analysis Saturday at 1:35 p.m. when the Raiders face the Texans in Houston in an AFC Wild Card game.
The good news for the Raiders (12-4) is that they’re back in the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. The not-so-good part is that they’ll do so without their MVP-candidate quarterback Derek Carr (broken leg). Oakland sends out rookie Connor Cook for his first NFL start, becoming the only quarterback in league history to make his first start in the playoffs.
Cook will face the NFL’s top-rated defense and will do so without trusty Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn (knee), who will miss his first game in nine years.
**UPDATE: The Raiders also revealed that one of their top defensive linemen is sick. Mario Edwards Jr. is listed as questionable but he is active. Here are the Raiders inactives: Derek Carr, Nate Allen, Antonio Hamilton, Donald Penn, Vadal Alexander, Jihad Ward, Branden Jackson.
Houston, the AFC South champions, have quarterback issues of its own as the Texans will turn to maligned Brock Osweiler after starter Tom Savage suffered a concussion in last week’s regular-season finale loss to Tennessee.
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The Raiders and Texans met already this season with Oakland rallying for a 27-20 win in Mexico on Nov. 21. Carr threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to secure the win.
The winner of Saturday’s wild card game will likely travel to New England next week to face the Patriots in the AFC divisional round.
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