BALTIMORE MD - DECEMBER 05: Poe the mascot of the Baltimore Ravens cheers on the team during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. Pittsburgh won 13-10. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
If the Baltimore Ravens think the Houston Texans will just roll over when they play on Monday Night Football this week, then they and their fans will be sorely disappointed. There is no way that Houston will be laying down at home on prime time TV, as they are actually still in the playoff hunt in the surprisingly close AFC South division, which is currently led by the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 7-5 record. If Houston can upset Baltimore and Jacksonville loses, they will only be a game behind the Colts and Jaguars with three games left in the regular season.
The Ravens are a field goal favorite to win on Monday Night Football, but they know the Texans pose a difficult match-up with an explosive offense led by a quick strike passing game behind QB Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson, arguably as good a passing combination as any in the league, plus RB Arian Foster, who leads the NFL in rushing yards. At the same time, the Texans defense is among the worst in the NFL, and if the Ravens are going to put points on the board, this is the team and the stage in which to prove they can do it on
With all the criticism directed towards the Ravens offense and specifically Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, expect Baltimore to pull out all the stops to prove that their off season acquisitions to improve their offense were worth it after falling flat in last week's disappointing 13-10 loss at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers after leading for 56+ minutes of the game. In fact, the Ravens have led into the fourth quarter in all four of their losses, a disturbing stat for a team that many thought was a serious Super Bow contender prior to the 2010 NFL season.
If the Ravens hope to regain their mojo and be talked about as among the best teams in the league, then a convincing win in Houston on national TV would go a long way towards adding them to the conversation. The Ravens are still in the mix to win the AFC North but will virtually need to run the table and hope that the Steelers lose one of their remaining two AFC North division games along the way. Otherwise, it looks like Baltimore will have to go on the road in the post season to make the Super Bowl, a tall task that looks doubtful to happen if that is the path they have to take.
Facing Houston on Monday Night Football is a tough way to start the last quarter of the regular season, as the Texans have performed pretty decently in December the last few years. At the same time, the Ravens have done pretty well themselves and if they play the type of game to their potential, they should absolutely be able to win and put points on the scoreboard and force Houston to play from behind, which could lead to turnovers and turn the tide of the game to their favor.
For more on the game, look at the Houston Texans official team website here, which shows that the Texans have played their best football over the past few years at this point of the season.
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