The perfect Texans (currently 5-0) will be waiting for us at Reliant Stadium. They'll be looking for revenge after we bounced them out of the playoffs and they'll be eager to make a statement against an AFC power. We have our work cut out for us but I think this game is winnable after seeing the game tonight in New York.
I'm not downplaying the importance of our division games or the ever looming games against hated Pittsburgh, but I sincerely believe that this is the game of the regular season for this 2012 Baltimore Ravens team. At this early stage of the season they are the most complete team and may very well give our team the greatest test they'll get all season long. Knocking Houston from the ranks of the undefeateds will be a daunting challenge. But a challenge I think our squad is prepared and eager to face.
Their defense has weaknesses. The Jets found success with quick slants, screen passes to their backs, and even made a long touchdown down the seam to a no-name tight end. If we expect to produce points against Houston we'll need to find ways to neutralize their pass rush and stop the likes of JJ Watt and Brooks Reed in their tracks. Our inexperienced offensive line will face their greatest test to date but I'm optimistic that they can hold off the rush long enough for Joe to get some throws to Rice, the tight ends, and Q in the slot. Their secondary has its flaws and if we play our game they can be exposed.
Their offense is a major concern. Foster is a machine running behind one of the very best lines in the league. A line that churns out rushing yards and has only allowed THREE SACKS all year. With the youth on our front 7 we'll need to rely on Ray and Haloti to command their troops with precision in both pass rushing and run stopping. Gap integrity will be crucial against the zone blocking scheme (a scheme we should be accustomed to since it is a system we now implement). The positive is that Schaub continues to show some inconsistency. He made some suspect throws tonight and what I saw to be an ugly interception to Cromartie. But there is always Andre Johnson roving the field for a back breaking reception. The likes of Cary and Jimmy will need to be on their A-game and we may very well need an interception from Webb or ED.
Their special teams might be susceptible. New York returned a kickoff for a touchdown, faked a punt for a 4th down conversion, and SHOULD have had an onside kick recovered. There isn't a doubt in my mind that the special teams coordinator in Harbs is fast at work thinking of ways to keep us in the game if we need a big play from our special teams.
We have insider information with the likes of Leach, Pollard, and Jones on our roster. Take it for what it's worth but these guys may very well know a tell or two that could swing the game in our favor.
The Texans are going to come out pissed off and firing on all cylinders against our guys. Their dome is going to be deafening and we'll need to be prepared. We escaped Houston a couple of years back off of a walk-off interception return and I expect another dog fight this year. I think we'll need a 'perfect' game to come out of Houston with a win, and I think that is more than doable for this team. For us to make it to where we intend on going we have to beat the best. That started with New England and will continue in Houston against the Texans. This game is huge as it has enormous playoff implications and tiebreaker potential.
Here's to rolling over Dallas, using that momentum to play the Texans with our brand of football, and head into the bye at 6-1. GO RAVENS, and GO O's.
Edited by BMORElegacy, 09 October 2012 - 01:40 AM.