The Texans (6-3) will face the Ravens (7-2) in Baltimore on Sunday, in a contest that has too many playoff implications to list. Read more about that and more from friend-of-the-site Rivers McCown here. Simply put, if the Texans lose Sunday, there is a very high likelihood they will not be able to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Reading about the Ravens’ rushing offense has given me football nightmares, and I need to get through this post quickly or risk all of my muscles simultaneously spasming me back into the fetal position, which I’ve worked so hard to finally pull myself out of.
Let’s see how the BRB staff sees Sunday’s showdown shaking out, shall we?
Tim: Ravens 30, Texans 24.
My heart says the teams should be reversed on that final score purely because Deshaun Watson is a Texan. My head says that this is a road game against an opponent that’s very good to solid in all three phases, with the added issue of them running an offense that’s unlike that of any other team in the NFL. I will go with my head and pray that the afternoon ends with me blasting Roxette on repeat.
Matt Weston: Ravens 33, Texans 30.
I still need to party tonight and look and write some more things, but at this point, I don’t think Houston has the edge speed to contain Baltimore’s run game and the Gareon Conley chase back Shareece Wright pass deflections have been pyrite. On the interior they match up well and they’ve been great at covering tight ends, but those two reasons make me believe, oh make me believe, the Ravens should move the ball well.
That being said, I think the game comes down to Houston attacking Baltimore downfield early, getting out to a lead, containing and spying, and forcing Jackson to quick pass from the pocket. I still don’t trust this team because of the Colts game. So I’m going with Baltimore.
Chris: Ravens 37, Texans 31.
Look, the Texans are better than I thought they would be. But what I see here is one of Houston’s Achilles Heels - going up against a team with superior coaching. I don’t think the extra week will result in saving the Texans, and they are still banged up on defense. You know what else would be great in this game? A big, fast run-stopper who can chase guys sideline-to-sideline and blow plays up in the backfield.
ANYWAY I will also say that yes, there are a lot of good feelings around the Texans following their win against Jacksonville and bye week, but one thing I just can’t get over is - it was the Jaguars. They dominated the Jaguars. So what? They should, they did, and they deserve credit for that - but show me something against Baltimore. Show me something on short rest Thursday night in a big divisional game. Show me this in prime time against the Patriots. Show me something two of those three games and I will turn the corner... unless they follow up that stretch with a bad loss against a crappy team.
Back to Sunday’s game, the Texans get a late TD to make the game seem closer than it actually was. I hope I’m very, very wrong!
BFmf’nD: Ravens 31, Texans 24.
I see a lot of the conventional wisdom is that the Texans need to keep the ball away from the Ravens. Because, you see, the Ravens supposedly cannot play from behind.
The problem is that the Ravens are explosive, and if you don’t put points on the board early and often, the Ravens don’t have to come back too much.
I am deeply appreciative that BOB has become far more aggressive this season, but if this team comes out like it did against the Jags, where the Glitter Kitties were in the game until late, it will be problematic.
Kenneth “Kenny94” O. : Texans 33, Ravens 30.
A high scoring affair but the Texans will put the NFL on notice again.
Matt Burnham: Texans 31, Ravens 24.
Houston is coming off a bye and the Baltimore win over New England is being milked like a cow. I’m not salty about it, you are. Shut up.
Their pass defense is bad and I think the Texans will do a solid job forcing Lamar Jackson to drop back and throw. It’s a huge game with massive playoff implications and Deshaun and the group will rise to the occasion.
Mike: Texans 37, Ravens 35.
Bill O’Brien and Romeo Crennel do a good job keeping the ball away from Lamar Jackson early, then when he gets it he torches Houston’s secondary forcing Deshaun “Savior of Houston Football” Watson to take the team on his back and edge out Jackson in the final minutes for the second time in his post-High School career.
Capt Ron: Texans 41, Ravens 38.
A barn burner from start to finish, but Watson has the better day in this explosive matchup. Ravens miss a field goal in the end to keep it from going to overtime and Houston begins their climb to the post-season.
What are your plans for this huge match-up? Watching at home? At a bar? Watch party? Let us know your plans for the game and your prediction for how this one turns out in the comments section. Above all else, have fun and enjoy the game!