The Baltimore Ravens (1-0) will face the Houston Texans (0-1) in a Week 2 matchup at NRG Stadium. The Ravens are coming off a big 38-6 victory against the Cleveland Browns while the Texans are coming off a tough loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here are three keys to victory to a Ravens win against Houston:
Exploit Houston’s Run Defense
In their week 1 loss to the Chiefs, the Texans allowed Clyde Edwards-Helaire to run for 138 yards, and one touchdown on 25 rushes. The Ravens had the league’s best rushing attack in 2019, with their top 3 rushers, Mark Ingram, Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards all active. Justice Hill, the RB3 in 2019, will be inactive, but rookie JK Dobbins will fill his role. Dobbins had 2 rushing touchdowns in his debut. Baltimore’s running game took a backseat against the Browns, but with Houston’s mediocre run defense, the Ravens must get the run game going.
Pressure Deshaun Watson
In 2019, when Houston visited Baltimore, Watson threw for just 169 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. In week 1, Watson threw for 253 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. In both games, the common trend was that each team was able to disrupt Deshaun Watson. Watson got sacked 7 times against Baltimore and 4 times against Kansas City. The Ravens pass rush, who only sacked Baker Mayfield twice in week 1, need to put pressure on Deshaun Watson to disrupt his game.
Contain Houston’s run game
One of the bright spots in the Texans week 1 loss was their running game. David Johnson, acquired from the Cardinals during the offseason, ran for a solid 77 yards and 1 touchdown on 11 rushes. The Ravens, despite bolstering their run defense, gave up 132 yards to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in week 1. The Ravens must contain Houston’s run game to limit their offense.
If Baltimore is able to accomplish these three keys to victory, they should be able to come away with a big win to advance to 2-0!