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Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans

Baltimore Ravens (5-1) @ Houston Texans (5-1)

Sunday, October 21 – Reliant Stadium

While the offense has been steady, Baltimore’s defense is coming off a poor defensive performance. The defense has allowed consecutive 200-yard rushing games. The unit looked sloppy, missed tackles and had Dallas on the ropes, they almost didn’t finish them. To make matters worse injuries are piling up; the team lost their top corner Lardarius Webb, as well as the heart and soul of the defense MLB Ray Lewis for the season due to injury. The good news is the offense is playing well and continues to come through at the right time.

After winning five games in a row, Houston didn’t play well Sunday night losing their first game to Green Bay. Green Bays’ Arron Rodgers threw for for six touchdowns. QB Matt Schaub who has been consistent this year had 2 interceptions in that match-up.

Despite coming off a tough loss at home, Houston is a balanced team with a solid defense and a top ranked ground game. The Texas defense rank 7th versus the run (87.7) and 7th in passing yards allowed (213.2). The offense has a dominant running game in Arian Foster; the team ranks 6th overall in rushing yards (134.2).



Ravens O-line vs. J.J. Watt/Houston’s pressure:

Last week it was DeMarcus Ware, now this week the offensive line goes up against a talented defensive front with standout J.J. Watt (9.5 sacks). RT Kelechi Osemele and RG Marshal Yanda will need to contain JJ Watt for this match-up.  Give the Ravens O-line credit for the most part, they contained Ware (1 sack) who wasn’t much of a factor in the Cowboys pass rush. The unit will have a major task Sunday versus Houston’s front who have a total of 17 sacks on the season.  It will be incumbent on the offensive line to open up running lanes for Ray Rice and allow time for Joe Flacco time to find his receivers.

WR Torrey Smith vs. CB Kareem Jackson:

Jackson (3 interceptions, 6 pass deflections, 1 TD) is having a solid year and so is Torrey Smith. Smith needs to have a few big plays in order to open up the passing game. Anquan Boldin is starting to take over games in the second half. He could be up against former Cincinnati Bengal CB Jonathan Joseph.

Ravens Run Defense vs. RB Arian Foster:

Foster is a dynamic back with excellent cut back ability, so far he has rushed for 561 yards, with a 3.8 rush ave., and 7 touchdowns. Green Bay held Foster to 29 yards, so you can bet Foster will me motivated this game and will look to test the Ravens struggling front seven. Obviously, the Ravens have struggled with containing opponents running game and Foster could be the biggest challenge so far for the Ravens defense. The Ravens rank 26th versus the run and with key injuries they will be at a disadvantage. Plain and simple, the front seven has to get better quickly.

CB Jimmy Smith vs. WR Andre Johnson:

With corner Lardarius Webb out for the season (ACL), Jimmy Smith will be expected to step up in Webb’s absence. Andre Johnson is a physically dominant receiver, and you can expect Ed Reed or Bernard Pollard to be rolling coverage Johnson’s way.


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