By Samuel Njoku
With two games remaining on the Ravens schedule, the plan for them is simple – win and you’re in. There are a few scenarios where Baltimore could clinch a playoff berth on Sunday against the Texans. None of that matters if they don’t win against a banged up Texans offense.
Texans on Offense
The Ravens are dealing with a plethora of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. The Texans may not be too far behind on the injury front. The Texans will be without Ryan Fitzpatrick because of a broken leg he suffered during Sunday’s loss to the Colts. Tom Savage, the backup quarterback who relieved him, will also be unavailable due to a knee injury he suffered during the same game. The Texans will have to choose between Thaddeus Lewis or Case Keenum for Sunday’s game. Keenum was just signed to the roster last Monday. This is without question a huge advantage for Baltimore.
The Texans will also have to deal with the injury to Andre Johnson who suffered a concussion 2 games prior and missed the game against Indianapolis last week. It’s assumed he’ll play against Baltimore but nothing has been finalized. With all the major injuries on this unit, the game will be placed in the hands of Arian Foster. The Ravens boast a top 5 run defense and will put all their effort into containing the big time running back.
Texans on Defense
When you think of Texans defense, you think of J.J. Watt. And regardless of how this team has struggled this season, the threat of Watt will keep Ravens Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak restless until this game ends. The Ravens will have to double and sometimes even triple team Watt to keep Joe Flacco clean in the pocket. With this game being played in Houston, the Ravens can’t afford a big play from Watt to turn the tide and give the crowd something to cheer about.
If you take away Watt from the equation, you’re left with a very beatable defense. The Texans possess the 26th ranked pass defense. There are holes to be exploited if given the opportunity. It’ll be interesting to see if the Ravens can take advantage.
Bill O’ Brien is currently finishing up his first season as the head coach of the Houston Texans. He was previously the head coach of Penn State and Offensive Coordinator of the New England Patriots prior to that. The Ravens are 7-1 All-Time against the Houston Texans. Their only loss came in 2012 when they would lose in Houston 43-13.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.
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