The Baltimore Ravens (5-1) travel to Texas Sunday to face the Houston Texans (5-1) this Sunday at 1pm EST at Reliant Stadium. The winner can lay claim as the class of the AFC and as favorites to represent the conference in the Superbowl.
Sunday’s matchup will be different than last year’s divisional playoff game between these clubs. Baltimore’s defense will not feature linebacker Ray Lewis or defensive back Lardarius Webb. Reigning defensive player of the year, linebacker Terrell Suggs, is questionable after coming off the physically unable to perform list earlier this week. Houston’s defense will be without linebacker Brian Cushing who tore his ACL two weeks ago.
Earlier this week Suggs was quoted as saying “There’s no plan in place. I’ve got to take it day by day. Come Sunday I may or may not be out there.” It seems unlikely Suggs will play many, if any, snaps. He has only two practices under his belt since coming back and isn’t in game-shape yet.
The short-handed Ravens’ defense will have to stop Texans’ runningback Arian Foster, who last year totaled 132 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in the playoffs. Foster will be looking to bounce back from only 29 rushing yards on 17 carries Monday against the Green Bay Packers.
The Ravens have never lost to the Texans, going (6-0) against them lifetime. If the Texans hope to reverse this trend, they’ll have to slow down Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco and the rest of the Ravens offense. The Ravens are second in the AFC with 385 yards per game.
Sunday, October 21st, 2012 has been a date circled by both teams since the beginning of the season. Both teams are first in their divisions and both look to cement themselves as the leader of the AFC. The Ravens hope to extend their winning streak while the Texans look to rebound from last week’s loss.