The AFC South-leading Houston Texans hit the road for the fourth time in five weeks to take on the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Houston comes into the game with a 6-3 record, while Baltimore is one better in each column at 7-2. Both teams have been hot lately, with the Texans winners of four of their last five while the Ravens haven’t lost since late September.
The weather should be perfect for the game with the forecast calling for 46 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of precipitation. That may prove to be a little chilly for a team from Texas, but the impact should be minimal.
Quietly Cruising Along
Houston may be one of the biggest surprises this season and, despite the volatility of its leadership, has managed to keep it together on the field. Deshaun Watson is proving to be one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and, with the resurgence of Carlos Hyde, the Texans boast one of the most well-balanced offenses in the league.
Houston has been playing with a little bit of fire recently, however, surrendering at least 280 passing yards each of the past three games, though they were able to keep the Jaguars out of the end zone two weeks ago.
Coming Into His Own
If Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, Lamar Jackson is the best young quarterback in the NFL. The Louisville product has a 3-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 8.0 yards per pass attempt, and is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
Along with the emergence of Jackson, there has also been a resurgence from running back Mark Ingram. Ingram has remained in great shape throughout the season and averaging five yards per carry.
The Baltimore pass defense has also been stout, surrendering more than a single touchdown pass only once this season. Over the past two weeks, opponents are also only converting on third down at a 42 percent rate.
The Texans are 3-2 on the road so far this season, but the Ravens are an entirely different animal. Jackson is rolling, and the Baltimore defense has been fantastic in recent weeks. Houston has been susceptible to the run in recent weeks after losing J.J. Watt, with the Raiders averaging over four yards per carry, and the Jaguars nearly five yards per carry two weeks ago. The Ravens’ running game should find great success in this contest.
Watson should have his full arsenal at his disposal for this game, as Will Fuller was a participant in practice on Monday. Fuller had been out with a hamstring injury. The trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Stills and Fuller will be the best passing game the Ravens have seen since facing the Chiefs in Week 3. You also need to keep an eye on Darren Fells in the red zone.
This is going to be a fun game to watch as both offenses are high-powered. Take Houston to cover but Baltimore to win. It is also likely this game gets into the 30s, so take the over all day.