The strength of the Texans this season, and probably the only reason they have five wins, is their offense. They boast the league’s leading rusher in Arian Foster (1,230 yards, 13 touchdowns) along with probably the best receiver in all of football in Andre Johnson (1,018 yards, five touchdowns). And don’t forget quarterback Matt Schaub, who has already thrown for over 3,000 yards and is capable of taking over a game at any time. Schaub is one of those guys like Jay Cutler – when he’s good, he’s really good and when he’s bad, he’s really bad. Let’s hope for the Ravens’ sake that we see the bad Schaub on Monday night.
I think this may be a tough spot for the Ravens considering they are on the road in a primetime game against an offense that can put up points. These three factors could spell trouble for a Ravens’ team who is still recovering both physically and mentally from last week’s loss to the Steelers. The one positive for the Ravens, though, is that the Texans’ defense is ranked 29th in the league while allowing 26.8 points per game. They also rank last in pass defense, allowing 287.4 yards per game, so the Ravens should be able to utilize their offensive weapons this Monday night. On the other hand, the Ravens’ defense needs to get back to the basics if they are going to slow down Schaub and the Texans.
Stop Foster in, and out, of the backfield
The second-year back out of Tennessee is a shifty, elusive, tough running back and is quickly establishing himself as one of the top rushers in the league. He has the ability to run around and through defenders and is very difficult to bring to the ground on the first try. He has been the game’s leading rusher in nine of team’s 12 contests this season, which is second to Rashard Mendenhall. But Foster is also a threat catching the ball out of the backfield and has 50 receptions for 479 yards on the season. His speed and elusiveness allows him to turn a short dump off pass into a 30- or 40-yard gain. This could potentially be a huge problem for the Ravens especially with their recent tackling troubles, which brings me to my next point…
No you pervs, this isn’t a lesson in sex education. I’m talking about one of the most basic elements of tackling and something the Ravens have been struggling with lately. I don’t understand how you let a guy (the Steelers’ Isaac Redman) get into the end zone when one guy has a clear shot at him and at least five guys have another chance to bring him down. If Dawan Landry would’ve wrapped Redman up when he had the chance to at the six-yard line or if one of the many purple jerseys around Redman would’ve actually tackled him, it may have been a different ballgame. Landry is great at rocking guys at full speed, but apparently he missed the lesson in wrapping up. Landry isn’t the only Raven guilty of this crime, though, as there have been numerous uncharacteristic missed tackles this season. They better fix this problem quickly because I can guarantee that Arian Foster and Andre Johnson aren’t going down easily.
Submitted by Steve Giles