Licking their wounds and an extra day to prepare, the Ravens will fly to Houston for a Monday night showdown versus the Texans. The Ravens have yet to lose consecutive games this season and this stat shouldn’t change when they come up against the worst passing defense in the League.
The Ravens are now in the home stretch of their season with 4 games remaining and 2 of those on the road. Their road to the playoffs will begin when they face a Texans team that is donating 287.4 passing yards a game and 388.8 total yards per game. If the Ravens receivers don’t put up some ridiculous numbers on Monday, it will be time to put them on the express train to the vacants. Derrick Mason has “hadanattitude” of sorts for their weak offensive output and he is quite justified. Joe Flacco should have ample time to throw where his arm desires as the Texans have only 19 sacks this season. But this will not help his habit of holding the ball too damn long. It is with strong hope that QB coach Jim Zorn is the equivalent of the methadone clinic for Flacco’s habit.
Defensively, the Ravens will be charged with stopping Arian Foster who leads the League in 4 statistical categories including rushing yards (1,230) and touchdowns (15). Every time Foster gets the rock he is averaging a nickle per carry. So it is more than safe to assume Foster will be on duty to test the Ravens’ run defense. Terrell Suggs, coming off his best performance versus the Steelers will be getting at Texans QB Matt Schaub before he is able to connect with the best wide receiver on a suspect team in Andre Johnson. Ed Reed and his secondary will be challenged to keep Johnson from making big plays. The Ravens secondary played well last week and they should survive the Johnson threat.
The Ravens are in a situation where they cannot fall 2 games behind the Steelers in the standings, therefore, the Ravens need to go on a 4 game stretch of great offensive output and defensive stops. The Texans are in a situation where if they can just win a game and go on a win streak of their own (which they have a tendency to do late in the season), they could make the playoffs in the tightly contested AFC South that could come down to the final week. The Ravens are facing a desperate team, but they still have the taste of defeat in their mouth from last weeks disappointment. Look for the Ravens to rebound and Flacco to get dimes to his receivers.
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Written by Lea Anderson