How Lamarr Houston Can Get the Best of Ryan Clady’s Replacement Chris Clark

Any hopes that the Oakland Raiders have of beating Denver in Week 3 come down to their ability to get to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Defensive end Lamarr Houston could be the key piece to that that puzzle.

One of only two starters remaining from last season and the only one healthy enough to play Monday night at Mile High Stadium, Houston will be facing Denver left tackle Chris Clark. In one of the game’s key matchups.

Clark was thrust into the Broncos lineup earlier this week when Ryan Clady was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. An undrafted player who spent two years on Minnesota’s practice squad before signing with Denver in 2010, the 6’5”, 305-pound Clark will be making just his seventh career start against an Oakland team that leads the NFL in sacks.

Houston has only one sack but he’s clearly been the Raiders most effective pass-rusher. According to, his status holds up across the league as well.

Here’s what PFF recently wrote about Houston:

Through two weeks, Houston is grading at +6.0 overall (seventh among 4-3 DEs) with a pass rush grade of +4.1. His 17.8 Pass Rush Productivity ranks second at the position behind only Robert Quinn of the Rams. 

Pretty solid stuff considering Houston is in his first season playing almost exclusively at right defensive end after spending his first three years on the left side. He’s also standing up as a pass-rusher far more than he ever did, and it’s paid off nicely so far.

His battle with Clark is key to whatever hopes the Raiders have of winning.

So far in the two games this season Houston has eight tackles, one sack and a pair of quarterback hurries. Those numbers only tell part of the story, however. Teammate Christo Bilukidi recorded his first career sack last week against Jacksonville partially because Houston chased Jaguars quarter...

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