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BMORElegacy

The Game of the Season: Baltimore at Houston

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I realize that we still haven't played Dallas. I realize that we shouldn't be overlooking the Cowboys. And I realize our team hasn't even started to think about Houston. But after watching Houston escape the Meadowlands I couldn't contain my angst to start talking about this game a week early.

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.
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Schaub is a choker. He cant play against the best defenses...unfortunately for us, our defense has not being playing anywhere nnear it's potential thus far. But I'm certain that their A game cannot match our a game,, so lets see who wants it more.
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To be honest, Foster could rake something like 180 yards on us. That offense found ways for him to get off against our healthy Chuck Pagano/ aggressive defense in the playoffs last year, this may not go too well if adjustments aren't made. If the Ravens do a good job against Demarco Murray this week I'll feel more optimistic, but I really don't know. Just being honest about it. Here's to our Baltimore offense firing on all cylinders come week 7!
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[quote name='flynismo' timestamp='1349762515' post='1183057']
Looks like Cushing is done for the year with a torn ACL.
[/quote]I saw him go down in the game tonight. That would help our run game IMMENSELY.
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[quote name='ratedr' timestamp='1349764022' post='1183065']
Extended rest? Houston doesn't have a bye next week.
[/quote]My bad, for some reason i got them mixed up with Dallas... And then I thought they had a Thursday Night game and got an extra 3 days. I have no idea how my brain works sometimes.
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[quote name='Purple Nurple' timestamp='1349763167' post='1183063']
The cockiest guy in the nfl is hurt?

Ruh Ro.
[/quote]The steroidiest guy too.
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Houston plays Green Bay next week so we should get a great feel for how they defend against various looks in the passing game.
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[quote name='HaX' timestamp='1349767764' post='1183086']
i'm confident here
[/quote]That makes one of us. I'm confident that our best can beat their best, but if a team shows up in two weeks that has any resemblance to the team that took the field in KC it'll be a long and ugly game.
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After beating KC by 3 points I am only focused on the Cowboys, our next opponent. We try to play Houston before Dallas in our minds, and you know what happens.
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[quote name='BMORElegacy' timestamp='1349768649' post='1183089']
That makes one of us. I'm confident that our best can beat their best, but if a team shows up in two weeks that has any resemblance to the team that took the field in KC it'll be a long and ugly game.
[/quote]

If that happens it wont be a long game, but it will be ugly.
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If we don't stop jj watt we could come out with another three field goals. He's the guy I'm most afraid of, not foster or Andre, but a second year 34 defensive end.

That says more about our oline play than anything else
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I'm more scared of their running attack than anything else. Just dont see how we'll stop Foster and Tate. (If Tate plays).

I guess its something about us vs zone running schemes? I don't know what it iis but our run d is flat out embarrassing.
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Here is the key to the game: Joe Flacco must be aware of JJ Watt at all times. He will get around our O Line and try to sack Flacco from behind. He will hurry him up. He will hop up and deflect passes. Flacco needs to be aware of him on the field the way the announcers always talk about opposing QBs needing to be aware of Ed Reed when they play against us. If Flacco doesn't keep his eye on what JJ Watt is doing, there will be sack fumbles and tipped balls that turn into interceptions all night long.
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[quote name='flynismo' timestamp='1349761849' post='1183053']
Schaub is a choker. He cant play against the best defenses...unfortunately for us, our defense has not being playing anywhere nnear it's potential thus far. But I'm certain that their A game cannot match our a game,, so lets see who wants it more.
[/quote]
Schaub is not a choker in my opinion but he does get injured at times.
Unfortunately, the Ravens defense is what you see now. Maybe if Suggs can come back it can improve but the defense is what it is...middle of the pack this year...But the offense can carry the defense and it will need to to win some games.
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[quote name='funky141' timestamp='1349791463' post='1183173']
Schaub is not a choker in my opinion but he does get injured at times.
Unfortunately, the Ravens defense is what you see now. Maybe if Suggs can come back it can improve but the defense is what it is...middle of the pack this year...But the offense can carry the defense and it will need to to win some games.
[/quote]

Choker was a bad word, since Schaub doesn't get his team to the postseason, lol....what I meant was, when he plays a tough defense (like last time we faced him, for example, when our defense was playing at a level we are more accustomed to), he does little...he only bullies the bottom level and mediocre defenses.
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For what it's worth, I have penciled this game and the one against the Chargers as losses when the schedule came out. I'm not saying that we won't win it, but they have a great potential to be a loss because it's on the road and they are still hurting over the playoff game. The Chargers game is also because it's on the road, it's sandwiched between two Steelers games, and they blew us out last season at home. I always hope for the best, but I still think that we need to be prepared to accept whatever happens.
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[quote name='CapoRocky' timestamp='1349791844' post='1183181']
For what it's worth, I have penciled this game and the one against the Chargers as losses when the schedule came out. I'm not saying that we won't win it, but they have a great potential to be a loss because it's on the road and they are still hurting over the playoff game. The Chargers game is also because it's on the road, it's sandwiched between two Steelers games, and they blew us out last season at home. I always hope for the best, but I still think that we need to be prepared to accept whatever happens.
[/quote]

To quote Gruden in week one:


"You know what I DONT hear? The Ravens shaking in their boots!"

In other words, to the casual fan like me and you, we look at this schedule and say, "Conspiracy! The NFL is setting us up to fail!"

But those boys in purple look at that schedule like fighters target other fighters on their level. Teams like this bring out the best in us, and you better believe that Houston and San Diego are every bit as concerned as we are.
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[quote name='flynismo' timestamp='1349791793' post='1183180']
Choker was a bad word, since Schaub doesn't get his team to the postseason, lol....what I meant was, when he plays a tough defense (like last time we faced him, for example, when our defense was playing at a level we are more accustomed to), he does little...he only bullies the bottom level and mediocre defenses.
[/quote]

I can agree on that..
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I watched the game last night and i see no reason for a panic in the Ravens at all. Do not get me wrong, they are a good team but they are far from a mountain to climb. I would be more worried about a game against the Falcons to be honest. The announcers compared their defense to what the Ravens D used to look like and i do not see it. We were more physical by far.
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My main worry is how our defense will stand up against the play-action.

There is no question that if our defense continues to play on their current level, Arian Foster will have great success in running against us. With Andre Johnson running around in the secondary, our defense will have to pick up on the play-action successfully for us to be able to shut down the Texans' offense.
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I gotta disagree there. I think Houston not only is a better team than ATL, but they also present a worrisome matchup for us. Their DL will destroy our OL again, and our pass rushing issues will be magnified against their excellent OL.
On top of that, Joseph will be on Torrey like white on rice all game long, so we will be relying a lot on Jacoby Jones as our main vertical threat...which means even less protection for Flacco, running a three receiver set
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[quote name='flynismo' timestamp='1349796566' post='1183241']
I gotta disagree there. I think Houston not only is a better team than ATL, but they also present a worrisome matchup for us. Their DL will destroy our OL again, and our pass rushing issues will be magnified against their excellent OL.
On top of that, Joseph will be on Torrey like white on rice all game long, so we will be relying a lot on Jacoby Jones as our main vertical threat...which means even less protection for Flacco, running a three receiver set
[/quote]
Don't forget how important edge setting is against them. Which could really expose our Oline.

I'm just hoping this game isn't a blowout. Although they lost Cushing, and he was their monster.
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[quote name='flynismo' timestamp='1349796566' post='1183241']
I gotta disagree there. I think Houston not only is a better team than ATL, but they also present a worrisome matchup for us. Their DL will destroy our OL again, and our pass rushing issues will be magnified against their excellent OL.
On top of that, Joseph will be on Torrey like [b]white on rice[/b] all game long, so we will be relying a lot on Jacoby Jones as our main vertical threat...which means even less protection for Flacco, running a three receiver set
[/quote]

They're going to have a practice squad guard covering Rice? Sign me up! :)
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[quote name='arnie_uk' timestamp='1349785372' post='1183120']
If we don't stop jj watt we could come out with another three field goals. He's the guy I'm most afraid of, not foster or Andre, but a second year 34 defensive end.

That says more about our oline play than anything else
[/quote]

I think it's more being scared of JJ Watt than being worried about our oline. Hopefully Yanda rebounds from his last performance against Watt. I'm going to be concerned whenever Watt is lined up on KO.

[quote name='Ravens<3' timestamp='1349785933' post='1183123']
I'm more scared of their running attack than anything else. Just dont see how we'll stop Foster and Tate. (If Tate plays).

I guess its something about us vs zone running schemes? I don't know what it iis but our run d is flat out embarrassing.
[/quote]

Yes I'm also scared of Foster's pedestrian 4.0 YPC average.

And we are prone to getting killed by the zone running scheme. Suggs is out, so we can't set the edge as well. Our dlinemen are traditional run stuffers. Many typical run stuffers get beaten in a zone scheme because it actually requires the defensive line to move. We can't stop a zone scheme because our dline is slow and right now, they kinda suck.
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[quote name='izvoodoo' timestamp='1349796626' post='1183242']
Don't forget how important edge setting is against them. Which could really expose our Oline.

I'm just hoping this game isn't a blowout. Although they lost Cushing, and he was their monster.
[/quote]

This year JJ Watt is much more terrifying than Cushing ever was.
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[quote name='callahan09' timestamp='1349798710' post='1183284']
This year JJ Watt is much more terrifying than Cushing ever was.
[/quote]
Yeah. I thought JJ watt would be the best defensive player from that draft, and I was right.
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