Ravens vs. Texans 2011 Preview

October 14, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

The Ravens are coming off of a bye week hoping to have all of their injured players back. Ben Grubbs has missed the last few games with a toe injury. Jimmy Smith has been out since the opening play of the Steelers game with a high ankle sprain. Dominique Foxworth has been out with an ACL injury. He sat out all of the 2010-2011 season with the injury. Tom Zbikowski is injured along with fellow safety Haruki Nakamura.

The Texans are just as injured as the Ravens if not more injured. They are without Andre Johnson for the next few weeks with an ankle injury. Mario Williams tore a pectoral muscle and is out for the rest of the season. Arian Foster has had a nagging hamstring injury since the beginning of the season. If his hamstring is still bothering him, then this is a bad week to play the Ravens defense. Ray Lewis said that to stop Arian Foster you have to hit him.

The Texans and Ravens met last year in Houston and it was a great game. The final score was 34-28 overtime win for the Ravens. Schaub brought the Texans back in the second half. In overtime the Ravens went three and out and fans were worried when Schaub got the ball. On the next play, he threw an interception to Josh Wilson who returned it for a touchdown. Schaub was able to throw on the Ravens but this year there are a few differences.

The Texans are without Andre Johnson but they still have other weapons. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter are good receivers and are good with yards after the catch. Their tight ends totaled over 200 yards last game and the Ravens will have to figure out a way to pressure Schaub, or he will pick them apart. Arian Foster played amazingly versus the Ravens last year and is having another good year. The Ravens will have to contain Foster in order to win this game.

The Ravens offense is very explosive this year. Whether it is Ray Rice out of the backfield or Flacco dropping back and throwing the ball. Ray Rice is leading the Ravens in rushing yards and receiving yards. However, Anquan Boldin, Ed Dickson, and Torrey Smith are big parts of the offense. Smith is a good deep ball threat and Boldin goes over the middle because of his physicality. Dickson is a good blocker but also can catch balls when a linebacker or safety is guarding him.

The Ravens have been pressuring quarterbacks this year and forcing turnovers. This is one reason that they have had success. However, they can be vulnerable against the run. This year they have been stout but Foster ran for over 100 yards in last years meeting. The Ravens must contain Foster, even though this is a tough task. As long as the Ravens stop Foster, this game should be theirs. I think it will be very difficult to contain Foster, but with Ngata and Lewis they can definitely get it done.

Prediction: 30-16