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The Football Power Index gives the Oakland Raiders a 63 percent chance to beat the Houston Texans in Mexico City on Monday night. The Raiders will pit their fourth-ranked offense against the Texans sixth-ranked defense in the marquee matchup, while the other side of the ball features two units ranked 27th heading into Week 11.The central reason for the Raiders strength on offense is of course the continued improvement of third-year quarterback Derek Carr, who ranked 11th in QBR entering Week 11. Most of the defenses Carr has faced this season have been above average, and he has continued to excel in those situations, posting a QBR of 80 against the third-ranked Ravens defense and 79 against the Buccaneers 13th-ranked defense. Carr has succeeded by throwing mostly short passes (only 18 percent of his throws are longer than 15 yards, 22nd in the NFL), which has helped him limit interceptions. Carr has thrown nearly six times more touchdowns than interceptions -- fourth in the NFL.That said, Carrs general formula for success runs into the Texans strength on defense. Houston limits opponents to 5.5 yards per attempt on throws of less than 15 yards downfield (sixth-best in the league), and does it in part by getting pressure on the QB on 24 percent of short throws -- eighth-best in the league.The test for the Raiders will be to continue to execute on the offense that has fueled their success, all while trying to slow down the Texans pass rush.For more from ESPN Analytics, visit the ESPN Analytics Index.? Cheap Jordan 13 Free Shipping . -- Peyton Manning will have all of his wide receivers available for the first time in a month when the Denver Broncos begin their playoff run Jan. 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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- While most of the preseason spotlight for the Patriots focused on who was missing at quarterback, there was just as much uncertainty surrounding the running back position.LeGarrette Blount was re-signed in the offseason after just missing his second career 1,000-yard season because of a late hip injury. In addition Dion Lewis, the teams primary receiving option out of the backfield, was working his way back from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee.James White filled Lewis absence admirably at the end of 2015, though he clearly was still learning in just his second year in the league.But as the Patriots (10-2) prepare to head into what should be their toughest four-game stretch of 2016, they suddenly find themselves with lots of options at a position once clouded with questions. They will be needed as New England closes the regular-season by facing three winning opponents over their final four games.All three running backs were showcased in New Englands 26-10 over the Rams on Sunday. Blount had the best day, adding to his growing highlight reel with to a juke-filled 43-yard touchdown for the games first score. It helped put the Rams in a hole they never really threatened to recover from.We always preach that we have to start fast, Blount said. If you can do that you know you can get everything else rolling, and you can open up the playbook and call the plays that we play.Blount has rushed for 957 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, which is already his most productive year in a Patriots uniform. Hes just 43 yards shy of reaching 1,000, and 51 yards from surpassing the career-best 1,007 he had as a rookie in 2010 with Tampa Bay. If he reaches 15 touchdowns, it also would set a new single-season mark for a Patriots running back.Lewis made his second start Sunday sincee returning to the active list on Nov.dddddddddddd 13. He continued to look comfortable on his surgically-repaired knee, moving well into cuts after receptions. White was also in the mix, posting his fourth straight game with at least four receptions.With the newfound depth, the Patriots coaching staff also has shown its willingness to try out some two-back sets featuring the smaller Lewis and White. It appears to be proof that New England feels it has the personnel to keep defenses guessing.I think its like anything else we do, Belichick said. Whatever formations and groupings we run and plays we run, we try to gain an advantage and where we think we can gain advantage we try to take advantage of it.That could certainly change game to game, he said, based on the looks that defenses show them. Just having that flexibility, though, should help keep all three backs fresh as the playoffs approach.It will be even more important as the Patriots make adjustments in the passing game with tight end Rob Gronkowski now on injured reserve following season-ending back surgery. Receiver Danny Amendola became the latest injury victim Sunday when he left the game with an ankle issue. He was seen afterward walking with crutches.Whatever challenges lie ahead, Blount said he and his teammates would adjust as needed.Football does start after Thanksgiving here, he said. We have to kick it into gear and we have to do all the things that we need to do and take the necessary steps to make sure that we continue to play good football.---Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '

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