September 27, 2012;Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) congratulates quarterback Joe Flacco (5) after rushing for a touchdown during the game against the Cleveland Browns at M
The Ravens and the Texans are currently tied atop the AFC. In fact, not only are they tied for the lead, they are the only two teams in the entire conference better than 3-3. Today, one of them will claim supremacy in the AFC. Here is how this game stacks up.
3. Joe Flacco vs. Texans Secondary– Through 5 weeks the Texans secondary had looked stellar, but week 6 the wheels fell off. Jonathan Joseph has been dealing with injuries and with his decline, the Texans secondary has declined. Last week Aaron Rodgers threw about 65 touchdowns (ok seriously it wasn’t that many but it might as well have been) and the Texans D couldn’t do anything to stop it. Look for the Ravens WRs to find holes and for Flacco to find his WRs.
2. Ray Rice vs. Texans D- The Texans LBs took a huge hit when they lost Brian Cushing for the season 2 weeks ago. His absence had to have played a role in their loss last week to the Packers and it will likely play a role today. Rice is arguably the top runner in the league and he excels at exploiting overwhelmed linebackers. look for him to try and punish the Texans banged up crew.
1. Torrey Smith vs. Jonathan Joseph- Jonathan Joseph would never see this side of the list if he were fully healthy, but that isn’t the case. Joseph has a couple of leg injuries and has struggled to play through them. He was beaten badly by Jordy Nelson several times last week on just straight nine routes when Joseph couldn’t handle the speed. Torrey Smith is much faster than Nelson so Expect Smith to be open deep all day.
1. Arian Foster vs. Ravens D- Arian Foster is a top flight RB and he runs behind perhaps the NFLs best OL. The Ravens have been struggling against the run lately and Foster has a good chance to continue that trend. If the Ravens can’t find a way to quickly patch their holes, Foster could have a huge night.
2. Andre Johnson vs. Cary Williams/Jimmy Smith– Andre Johnson is a beast. Once considered the best WR in the league, his production has tailed off a bit in the past couple years. Mostly that has been due to Arian Foster and some injuries, but it also has been partially because Johnson isn’t quite as explosive as he once was. Even so, he is still a top 5 player and should and likely will be doubled on every play. when he isn’t doubled he shouldn’t have much problem exploiting the Ravens corners. This is more about Johnson than it is the Ravens corners, there pretty much isnt a corner in the league that can cover him one on one for an entire game.
3. Texans OL vs. Ravens Pass Rush- The Texans OL has been one of the leagues best for years and they are playing very well this season. Last Week the Packers roughed them up a bit, but they look likely to bounce back this week and control a Ravens pass rush that, without Terrell Suggs, who may or may not play, they have been very average. Look for the Texans OL to control the line of scrimmage. if they do, watch out, this game could quickly become a shootout. The good news is that the Ravens offense has significantly more firepower than the Texans do.