Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ravens-Texans Preview

The Ravens will feel some extra motivation when they travel to Houston to take on the Texans on Sunday. This was to be their bye week, but the game originally scheduled for Sept. 14 was postponed due to Hurricane Ike.

The Texans are reeling after losing linebacker, and leading tackler, Zac Diles for the rest of the season due to a broken leg and quarterback Matt Schaub (knee) for a few games, helping the Ravens' chances of winning their third straight road game.

The Ravens' defense will be tested by the 4th-ranked offense in the NFL. Explosive wide receiver Andre Johnson may prove to be the secondary's biggest challenge of the entire season. The return of cornerback Samari Rolle, out for the last six games, will help to neutralize the Texans' dangerous passing attack.

Houston's 23rd-ranked run defense will struggle to stop the Ravens' three-headed monster of Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and Le'Ron McClain at running back. The Ravens will once again attempt to control the game on the ground, keeping the Houston offense on the sideline.

The Ravens need this win badly before the difficult stretch of playing the NFC East begins next week. A loss here creates a steep path to the playoffs with the difficult part of the schedule looming ahead. Quarterback Joe Flacco builds on his stellar day in Cleveland by throwing two touchdown passes while the defense contains quarterback Sage Rosenfels and the Houston offense after allowing Johnson to catch a touchdown pass.

Prediction: Ravens 24 Texans 13

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