After suffering the 1st loss of the season the Houston Texans are looking to bounce back against the Baltimore Ravens in what might end up being the most important game of the season. The Texans and Ravens are both 5-1, and both know that this 1 game could end up being the difference between having home field through the whole postseason. The Houston Texans are 0-6 all time versus the Ravens and will look to change that this week, as well as secure the #1 spot in the AFC standings.
For the first time all season last week Houston Texans RB Arian Foster was held in check for a whole game. It was the first game in which Foster didn’t get at least 80 yards rushing this season. Foster ,who usually always bounces back after games in which he struggles and will be looking to do the same this week. The Texans will need him to have a big game if they plan to beat the Ravens, a team they played twice last year and never could beat. In the last meeting between these 2 teams Foster had a great game but it wasn’t enough to win the game during last seasons playoffs. In that game Foster finished with 27 carries for 132 yards and a TD. If Foster can put those kind of numbers up on Sunday the Texans will be hard to beat.
QB Matt Schaub also looked a bit more human for the first time in weeks during the blowout loss to Green Bay last week on Sunday. Schaub, one of the captains and leaders of this team knows that last week wasn’t something that can happen again. He had this to say after the teams performance last Sunday: “We didn’t play up to our standard, up to our level of expectation that we have around here.” Schaub will be looking to right the ship on offense against a team with some major injury problems. The Ravens will be without Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and CB Cary Williams on Sunday. Schaub will use this to his advantage. It should make it easier for the Texans to use the play action pass game they do so well. With Williams out I’d expect WR Andre Johnson and all the TE’s on the Texans to factor into this as well. The Ravens like to leave their DB’s in single coverage and bring blitz packages, Schaub should be able to counter that with all the weapons that’ll be at his disposal on Sunday.
Defensively the Texans will be looking to limit Ravens RB Ray Rice, and forcing QB Joe Flacco to beat them through the air. When these 2 teams met in the playoffs last season the Texans were able to stop Rice and made a game out of it. Flacco did throw for 2 TD’s but they were both possessions that were started in Houston territory thanks to a muffed punt and another punt that was caught inside the 15 with a horrible return. Both of these were by now Raven and former Texans WR/KR Jacoby Jones. If the Texans are able to stop Ray Rice, they should have a great chance at winning this game. They’ll be attempting to to pressure Flacco into making some bad decisions. DE JJ Watt should factor into this weeks game as well with the Ravens and the patch work o-line they’ve been using. I bet Wade Phillips moves him all over the place trying to get him mismatches and hope he can get his hands on either the QB or some passes coming out the backfield this weekend.