The Baltimore Ravens are seeking answers for their weakening defense as they travel to take on the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon at Reliant Stadium.
In their 31-29 over the Dallas Cowboys last week, the Ravens sidestepped their second straight poor defensive showing. They allowed Dallas to gain 227 yards rushing, but lucked out when the Cowboys missed a 51-yard field goal that would have won the game as time expired.
Quarterback Joe Flacco went 17-for-26 for 234 yards and a touchdown, and receiver Anquan Boldin made five receptions for 98 yards.
Despite the victory, Baltimore lost star linebacker Ray Lewis and top cornerback Lardarius Webb for the season. Lewis has a torn triceps and Webb tore his anterior cruciate ligament, with both requiring surgery.
Houston will look to take advantage of the hurting Ravens, and try to get back on track after their first loss of the season to the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdowns passes to lead the Packers to a 42-24 win over the Texans, who were still coping with the loss of linebacker Brian Cushing, who tore his ACL in Week 5.
Before the Packers, Houston had given up more than 17 points in one game this season, and Houston hadn’t allowed 40 points since Week 3 last season.
Houston’s Matt Schaub went 20-for-33 for 232 yards and two picks, while running back Arian Foster only ran for 29 yards on 17 carries.
Sunday is a rematch of last season’s AFC divisional playoffs, when the Ravens advanced to the conference championship by a score of 20-13, with Lewis making seven tackles and Webb snagging two interceptions.
Baltimore’s injuries are so devastating, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs, who tore his right Achilles tendon in April, was taken off the physically-unable to perform list, and is listed as active this week and is expected to play.
Corner back Jimmy Smith should step in to take Webb's place in the starting lineup.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by CBS, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Houston is favored by 7 points
Over/Under: 48.5 points
Prediction: The Texans and Foster will rush through Baltimore’s interior line, and their defense will force Flacco to have his worst game of the season for the win.
Predicted Score: Houston 24, Baltimore 13