Tonight, the Baltimore Ravens host the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. This will only be the Ravens’ second home Monday Night game under John Harbaugh. The Ravens go into the game 5-5, right in the thick of the AFC wild card race. By defeating Houston tonight, the Ravens will propel themselves even further into the playoff picture.
The players and fans alike have expressed how excited they are for this game, as it will be a blackout. All fans are encouraged to wear they’re black Ravens gear along with the players, who will be rocking the best uniform in football; the all blacks. This game should be a rather easy victory for Baltimore, if they do what they are supposed to and play Ravens football.
Contain Jadeveon Clowney
After facing a countless number of injuries that hurt his play early on, Clowney has become an elite pass rusher in the NFL. This season Clowney has compiled eight sacks and two forced fumbles. The Ravens can not allow Clowney to be a game changer. With second year left tackle, Ronnie Stanley questionable, the Ravens can only hope that he plays and is able to contain the dominant pass rusher. Without possibly the best defensive player in the NFL in JJ Watt, containing Clowney should be a little easier for the Ravens. But, if they allow Clowney to get into the backfield, Joe Flacco could be in for a long, long night.
Stifle Deandre Hopkins
Hopkins is recognized as one of the best receivers in the NFL. So far this season Hopkins is third in receiving yards, fifth in receptions, and first in targets. Since the Ravens do not allow a cornerback to shadow a specific receiver, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, and Marlon Humphrey will all have to do their parts and contain the explosive play capabilities of Hopkins. Jimmy Smith has the best coverage rating of any cornerback in the league, so that will be a very intriguing matchup to see how many times Texans quarterback, Tom Savage tests the Ravens elite corner. Houston’s number two receiver, Will Fuller, is ruled out for the Monday night contest so that should allow more of the focus to be on Hopkins.
To many times last week, the Ravens failed to convert a turnover into seven points. Baltimore did score thirteen points off of turnovers, but that stat was padded because of a Marlon Humphrey interception inside the Packers’ five yard line, which led to an Alex Collins rushing touchdown. Other than that then Ravens defense forced 5 turnovers, but the offense could not cash in for the most part. Eventually, this offense will need to put up more than 20 points in order to win a game. Whether that is this week or beyond it will need to be done. If the Ravens offensive unit can capitalize on short field position created by the defense, with touchdowns rather than field goals or sometimes nothing, this team will be a lot scarier heading into December and January football. With Danny Woodhead getting his feet wet last week and tackle Ronnie Stanley hopefully playing, this offense will be as healthy as possible heading into the final push for the playoffs.