Texans vs. Ravens: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
The Baltimore Ravens have limped out of the gate to start the 2013 season, and the defending Super Bowl champs don't have an easy opponent lined up in Week 3.
Baltimore hosts the formidable Houston Texans this Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
Houston is 2-0 after coming from behind to beat both the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans in consecutive weeks. This is a team that has the pieces in place to forge a championship run under the right circumstances.
The Ravens, embarrassingly, were blown out by the Denver Broncos in Week 1. The team did manage to win against Cleveland in Week 2, but it won't beat the Texans this week without some major improvements on both sides of the ball.
It's too early in the season to panic about poor starts, but you have to imagine the Ravens need this win far more than the Texans do. Even though the AFC North is a mess all the way around, starting the season with a record of 1-2 would make it difficult to get back to the playoffs this year.
Here's what you need to know about this upcoming matchup.
When: Sunday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Bovada)
- Over/Under: 45 pts.
- Spread: Baltimore (+3)
Texans Injury Report (via NFL.com)
|Arian Foster||RB||Calf||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Johnathan Joseph||CB||Not Injury Related||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Derek Newton||T||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Wade Smith||G||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
|DeVier Posey||WR||Achilles||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Ed Reed||S||Hip||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Duane Brown||T||Toe||Did Not Participate In Practice||Questionable|
|Brian Cushing||LB||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Owen Daniels||TE||Not Injury Related||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Garrett Graham||TE||Hip||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Chris Myers||C||Back||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Joe Mays||LB||Quadriceps||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Ben Tate||RB||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Brice McCain||CB||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Andre Johnson||WR||Concussion||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Darryl Sharpton||LB||Hip||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
Ravens Injury Report (via NFL.com)
|Chykie Brown||CB||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Deonte Thompson||WR||Foot||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Brandon Williams||DT||Toe||Limited Participation in Practice||Doubtful|
|Jacoby Jones||WR||Knee||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||Out|
|Arthur Brown||LB||Chest||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Chris Canty||DE||Thigh||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Ray Rice||RB||Hip||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Ryan Jensen||C||Foot||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
Can Houston Run the Ball Against Baltimore?
Rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is looking more and more like a legitimate superstar in the making. Combined with Andre Johnson, the Texans have a formidable duo at the receiver position.
That said, Houston is now—and always will be, as long as Matt Schaub is the quarterback—a run-first team on offense.
Arian Foster isn't as explosive as he once was, but he's still capable of hitting a hole with authority and driving his legs to move a pile. He's been trying to get back to his elite form, but a nagging back/leg injury kept him out of training camp and the preseason—and it shows.
As he's struggled to find running lanes (3.7 yards per carry), Ben Tate has picked up the slack. Tate leads Houston's rushing attack with 148 yards on 18 carries (8.2 yards per carry).
Head coach Gary Kubiak recently spoke about distributing carries between his two stars, as noted by HoustonTexans.com:
I think they’re both playing real well, I think Arian is catching up so to speak from what the time he has missed, but I think Ben’s playing at an extremely high level right now. It’s important that we continue to give him his touches and we will.
The Texans will need both men to play at a high level this week.
Baltimore features the No. 8-ranked rush defense in the NFL through two weeks, allowing just 130 yards on 43 carries (three yards per attempt).
Baltimore's offense has been about as impressive through two games as a frozen burrito you'd purchase at a local gas station.
Ray Rice might not even practice this week as he rehabs a hip strain, as noted by the Baltimore Ravens:
Ray Rice may not practice this week, but the Ravens want to get him ready to play Sunday. http://t.co/gq3ryRzkJK— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 16, 2013
If he can't play, then the Ravens will be in even deeper trouble against the Texans this week. Houston's front seven on defense can be downright dominant against even the best offensive teams.
Which team will win?
The home crowd will aid Baltimore early in the contest, but Houston's overwhelming edge in both talent and depth will carry it through to victory.
Texans win 28-17
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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