Baltimore Ravens’ 5 Keys To Victory Over Houston Texans
Baltimore Ravens 5 Keys To Victory Vs. Houston Texans
This Sunday will provide a huge matchup for the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, as they take on the Houston Texans in what could be a very important swing game for both teams. I’ll be going over the five things that the Ravens need to do if they hope to defeat the Texans. This, by all means, doesn’t mean I’m predicting the Ravens to win, I’m merely stating what they need to do to win. My official prediction for this game will be out tomorrow (9-19-13).
I remember during last year's playoff run, the day after the Ravens pulled off their improbable upset win against the Denver Broncos, that Ravens fans I talked to were hoping that the Texans would knock out the New England Patriots in the other AFC Divisional Playoff game. I couldn’t have been more happy that the Pats won that game, because the Ravens have always matched up well with them. The Texans, on the other hand, have been a bad matchup for the Ravens for the past couple of years. The Texans crushed the Ravens 43-13 in the regular season last year at Reliant Stadium. With third String QB T.J. Yates, the Texans gave the Ravens all they could handle in the 2011 AFC Divisional Round game, which was in Baltimore. A Jacoby Jones muffed punt was the turning point in that game. Funny thing is that Jones went to the Ravens the next year and was a playoff hero. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
There’s no doubt that the Ravens will have their hands full this Sunday. If they can hit on some of the following keys then they’ll have a shot. Enjoy the show.
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Limit Arian Foster And Ben Tate
This goes without saying. It would be impossible to shut down Arian Foster and Ben Tate completely, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be limited. The new look the Ravens' run defense has looked pretty good in their first two games, but this will be their biggest test to date, if Chris Canty is able to play that will be a huge help in that department. If the Ravens do limit the running game then that could lead to...
Pressure Matt Schaub
As a Ravens fan, you can’t help but be excited at the prospects of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil rushing sitting duck QB Matt Schuab. These prospects get more exciting when you realize that the Texans could have a backup LT starting, or a banged up Duane Brown.
Jimmy Smith Needs To Step It Up
While I do expect the pass rush to terrorize Schaub all day, they won’t be able to get there every time, which is why it’s important for new starting CB Jimmy Smith to build upon last week's performance. Odds are, Smith will be on impressive big bodied rookie DeAndre Hopkins most of the day. Like I said earlier in the week, with Bernard Pierce, it’s time for Smith to put on his big boy pants.
Bernard Pierce Also Needs To Step It Up
Speaking of Pierce, he’ll be asked to play in a bigger role in this game. There’s still a chance that Ray Rice can play, but it would be hard to envision him being that effective against a good Texans run defense. The better Pierce can do, less pressure is put onJoe Flacco. He can’t be in too many third and longs against J.J. Watt and company.
Hit A Few Deep Passes
The Ravens have yet to really hit a home run passing play this season. The Texans are susceptible to the long pass, so it would be in the Ravens' best interest to take some shots down field. Let Torrey Smith do his thing, and hopefully they can hit on at least two or three bombs.