The Baltimore Ravens will host the Houston Texans tonight in an AFC prime-time match up. The Ravens hope to improve to 6-5 and further improve their chances of making the playoffs. These are three players who are vital to the Ravens beating the Texans.
1. Brandon Williams
The Ravens defense is a completely different animal with Brandon Williams in the lineup. They have pitched three shutouts with him on the field and were absolutely gashed by the run when he wasn’t. He is one of, if not the, most important player on defense. Williams ability to clog running lanes and push the pocket is second to none. He makes life hard on offensive lines, to say the least.
Ever since rookie QB Deshaun Watson tore his ACL, effectively ending his season, the Texans have struggled mightily. Tom Savage has stepped in for Watson and has not fared well. The Ravens defense has shown how they can destroy average to below average quarterbacks this season. They absolutely manhandled Andy Dalton, Deshone Kizer, Matt Moore, and Brett Hundley. I expect they will do the same to Savage tonight.
Pressuring Tom Savage is key.
The Ravens pass rush will be the determining factor in if they can dominate the game or not. If Savage is forced to make ill-advised throws into the Ravens elite secondary, then it could be a long night for Texans fans. Brandon Williams is vital to generating a consistent pass rush. He demands double teams and is still able to push into the QB, forcing him to flush out of the pocket often. This leaves him an open target for the Ravens outside linebackers to seek and destroy.
The Texans will most likely want to run the ball for the most part. Brandon Williams will be there to make sure they can’t. The Ravens need to force Savage to try to win the game with his arm. With Williams, this defense is one of the best in the league without a doubt.