Last season, the Baltimore Ravens absolutely demolished the Houston Texans. In a Week 11 matchup at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens were in the middle of their hot streak, winning six games in a row. Their task was against an unpredictable 6-4 Texans team who had big wins against the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Ravens exposed the Texans as true pretenders rather than contenders by absolutely routing them 41-7. Lamar Jackson put together an incredible performance by completing 17/24 passes for 222 yards and four touchdowns. Gus Edwards had one of his best performances all season by gaining 112 yards and a touchdown off of eight carries. Mark Ingram had his best pass-catching performance as he scored twice through the air off of three catches and 37 yards.
On the defensive side, the pass-rush locked themselves in as both Matthew Judon and Tyus Bowser each had two sacks. Jaylon Ferguson also contributed with a sack of his own. The Baltimore defense did a wonderful job in limiting Deshaun Watson and his offense. The Ravens limited Watson to 169 passing yards and intercepted him once. The beneficiary of the interception was current Cincinnati Bengals’ LB Josh Bynes.
This game was a lopsided victory for the Ravens who aimed to continue their string of dominance over intermediary teams like the Texans. Should we expect something different for this Sunday's matchup?
In my opinion, no.
Despite being seven-point favorites, I can see the Ravens building off of their Week 1 performance against the Browns and handling the Texans, despite the game being in Houston.
To Watson’s detriment, he does not have the benefit of his DeAndre Hopkins security blanket. Instead, he looks to do damage by throwing to the likes of Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, and Jordan Akins. The one player that I anticipate could give the Ravens some issues is RB David Johnson. Out of the few downsides that I could takeaway from the Ravens’ Week 1 domination over the Browns is their run defense.
Kareem Hunt was especially able to break off a few decent gains against Baltimore’s defensive front. If Johnson is able to gain some traction in the ground game, that could open things up for Watson in the passing game. Though Johnson may find some success in the ground game, I believe only a couple three-and-outs will put the game in Baltimore’s control.
In reality, I predict that Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Tavon Young shut down Houston’s receiving corps. If the Ravens are able to do exactly that, then the pressure increases on Watson, which could lead to Watson finding himself often hurried and on the turf.
Though I don't anticipate another victory reminiscent to last year’s, I do see this game being along the lines of a two touchdown victory for the Ravens. The Lamar Jackson-led offense is arguably the league's best, especially since Jackson already appears to be playing at a higher level in the passing game than last year. Jackson’s poise and tranquility in the pocket was evident against Cleveland, and I anticipate that he will act similarly against Houston.
Another reason that I put the Ravens in a completely different league than the Texans is Houston’s performance against the Chiefs last week. After only a couple of three-and-outs with touchdowns following as a result, Kansas City had this game well within their grasp throughout. Essentially, Houston’s offense was unable to keep up with the touchdown-scoring efficiency of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense.
If the Ravens are able to replicate what the Chiefs did last week, the Texans could find themselves getting handily beaten for the second week in a row.
Will the Ravens cover the -7 spread against the Texans?
This poll is closed