Three And Out: Useless Predictions For Texans-Ravens

The spirits must have been on strike last week. That's the only explanation I can arrive at, what with said spirits completely failing to inform me of the horrors that transpired at Reliant last Sunday. You'd think they would have given me a heads up about how the game would end, or Mario Williams' season-ending injury, or Jacoby Jones being Jacoby Jones.

What's that? You say there's another possible explanation?

That I'm a total hack who has no idea what he's doing and attempts to hide that fact with transparent self-deprecation and a completely fraudulent assertion that I have some sort of psychic ability?

Well, then. I was going to reveal the winning lottery numbers for the next Texas Powerball drawing, but now I'll keep that information to myself. No, I won't use that knowledge for my own gain; that would be selfish and wrong. Just know that I know, and you could have known if you weren't so mean. Let this be a learning experience for all of you: Words hurt.

On to this week's edition!

1. The biggest question, in my mind at least, is how Brooks Reed will do in his first NFL start. The good news is that he'll register a sack and be decent rushing the passer. The bad news is that he's going to make a couple of rookie mistakes against the run, one of which will lead to a Ray Rice touchdown. As we look back at Reed's performance after the game, we'll find some reason for encouragement, but we'll also get smacked anew with the harsh reality that, despite what Tyler Durden would have you believe, Mario Williams is in fact a beautiful and unique snowflake.

2. Which Joe Flacco will be quarterbacking the Ravens? The hoss who played in Weeks One and Three, or the disaster who was under center for Baltimore in Weeks Two and Four? Neither. Flacco will split the difference, completing 53% of his passes for 222 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. The pick will be off a J.J. Watt deflection that caroms into the arms of DeMeco Ryans.

3. Matt Schaub will throw an interception, and those who believe he's not good/clutch/sporting the kind of hair you desperately need to be a successful starting QB in the NFL will lose their minds and cite that throw as the latest example of how the Texans will never win anything of consequence with Schaub as Houston's QB. Schaub will also throw 2 TD passes--one to Joel Dreessen and one to Owen Daniels, as the Texans lean on their TEs by design due to the continued absence of Andre Johnson and the Baltimore pressure--but that will not quell the anger of the Anti-Schaubites. The chatter won't be as angry as it was this past week after Schaub's performance in Baltimore, yet there will be a sizable contingent who continue to assert that Matt Schaub can't get the Texans where they need to go.

Bonus prediction for you: Arian Foster finishes with more receiving yards than rushing yards on Sunday, thanks to at least four receptions on (gasp!) screen passes.

PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Beating the Ravens, in Baltimore, without Mario Williams and Andre Johnson, would be a colossal win, especially after last week's debacle. I know some very smart fans who think the Ravens won't be able to exploit the Texans' weakness at CB2 and/or that running the ball will be tough sledding for Ray Rice, Ricky Williams & Co. (see, e.g., Darren McFadden last week). It's enough to give me pause, but it's not enough to make me believe the Texans can pull this one off. Ravens 24, Texans 17.

Texans vs Ravens coverage
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