Baltimore Ravens vs Houston Texans Preview, Prediction, Where to Watch


Sep 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right) shakes hands with Houston Texans safety Ed Reed (left) after the game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15: Baltimore Ravens vs Houston Texans

When: Sunday, 12/21/2014 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Live Stream:

Radio: 98 Rock, Sirius XM

Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky, Stan White, Qadry Ismail

TV: CBS (coverage map)

TV Crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker

Preview:  This matchup looked like it might be a huge battle with big playoff implications just a couple of weeks ago, but the NFL landscape has changed tremendously since then.  The Texans lost two quarterbacks to injury last week alone, a mere two weeks after losing previous starter Ryan Mallet for the season.  At 7-7, the Texans are now on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens have pieced together a two game winning streak that has them back in contention as the AFC’s six seed.  The Ravens also remain a mere half game behind the Bengals in the AFC North race, yet they need to finish strong to guarantee themselves a postseason berth.

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The Texans will find offensive yards hard to come by as they are forced to start either Case Keenum or Thad Lewis this week, both undrafted journeyman type players.  Both have started games in the NFL as recently as last year, but neither has sustained success for any period of time.  This week one of them must face a Ravens’ ferocious pass rush that is third in the NFL in sacks.

The Texans have one of the best running backs in the NFL in Arian Foster, but even he faces a daunting task this week against the NFL’s 3rd ranked rushing defense.  The Ravens have allowed a mere 84.3 yards per game to opposing running backs, holding even the league’s leading rusher, Le’Veon Bell, to less than 100 yards.

The Texans have perhaps the NFL’s best defensive player in J.J. Watt, but only the 24th overall defensive unit.  If they do not have success slowing down the Ravens’ rushing attack or allow long drives, the Texans will have a hard time winning this game. Considering how much of a challenge they will face moving the ball on offense themselves, this game could get ugly.

Betting Line: Ravens -5 1/2, 41 1/2u -10

Prediction: Ravens 21, Texans 17