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Raiders impressed by new Texans QB

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POSTED November 16, 2013 12:50 a.m.

HOUSTON (AP) — After missing only one game while recovering from a mini-stroke, Texans coach Gary Kubiak is back at it.

While that’s certainly good news for the Texans, this struggling team still has plenty of problems to deal with. Houston will try to break a franchise-record seven-game skid when it hosts Oakland on Sunday.

The Raiders have lost two straight and are last in the AFC West.

“Our attitude is very positive,” Kubiak said. “It’s time to be strong — very strong. And that’s what we’re looking for is strength in people, strength in numbers as we move forward, and everybody having a positive attitude.”

The Texans were a preseason favorite to reach the Super Bowl, but they’ve dealt with mounting problems as the losses piled up. Quarterback Matt Schaub had a terrible start to the season and was benched after an injury in favor of undrafted second-year player Case Keenum.

Keenum has done some good things in his first three NFL games after spending all of last season on the practice squad following a record-setting career at the University of Houston. But he’s been unable to move the offense in the second half of any of his starts as the Texans’ losing streak outlasted the two six-game streaks the team had during its franchise-worst 2-14 season in 2005. Kubiak said he’ll decide each week if he’ll stick with him or go back to Schaub.

“I think Case has played really well and done a lot of good things,” Kubiak said. “He has made a lot of mistakes, too, that he’s got to correct. We’ve been in some close ballgames with the ball in his hand at the end of the game and we’ve got to get over the hump there ...

“I think he needs a little pressure on him to continue to have to play well and stay in there. I’m not going to give anybody anything, much less a quarterback.”

Raiders coach Dennis Allen has been impressed with Keenum and raved about his ability to get the ball to Andre Johnson. Johnson didn’t have a touchdown reception in Houston’s first seven games, but has grabbed five in the last two.

Lechler ailing

Houston punter Shane Lechler has been hospitalized this week with a bad case of the flu. Kubiak said he doesn’t expect to see Lechler at the stadium this week while he recovers, but Lechler told him he’d be ready to play against his former team on Sunday.

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