By Samuel Njoku
The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) did what they had to do on Thursday when they defeated the Cleveland Browns (0-4). But while the Ravens are taking a mini-vacation, fans still need their football. Here are a couple of teams that Ravens’ fans should root for on Sunday.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (1pm.)
If there is one team playing better football than the Baltimore Ravens, it’s the Houston Texans. The Texans (3-0) are currently the only undefeated team left in the AFC. And while the Ravens tend to take it one game at a time, fans of Baltimore don’t follow the same mantra. If the Ravens want home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, they’ll have to hope the Texans don’t go undefeated. And a loss against a division rival at home could have ramifications when the playoffs begin.
The Tennessee Titans (1-2) haven’t played well to start the season. Star running back Chris Johnson has been a non-factor so far and is really the only source of offense on this team. If fans want to see an upset on Sunday, they’ll have to hope that Chris Johnson finally gets things going after a 3 week disappearing act.
Much like the Titans, the Texans rely on their running back to get things going. Arian Foster, one of the top backs in football, will be used to control the tempo of the game. To gain control of this game, the Titans will have to slow Foster down and force the Texans to become one dimensional. If they can accomplish this feat, as well as get pressure on the quarterback, it could be upset city in Houston.
Who to root for: Tennessee Titans
Chances of success: Minimal
Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars (4:05pm)
The Ravens already have registered a Week One victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) this season. But the Bengals are still a playoff contending team. If fans want to create some separation between these two teams, a loss against the Jaguars could do the trick. Jacksonville (1-2) has played mediocre football to start the regular season. A lot of that has to do with the offseason holdout of Pro Bowl running back Maruice Jones-Drew. The 2011 rushing champion held an unsuccessful campaign to get a new contract and missed all offseason activities. When MJD finally decided to report, the regular season was just days away.
After a good performance against the Colts however, it appears as though MJD is coming back to form. And it couldn’t come at a better time. The Jaguars will need every rushing yard from MJD if they are to stand a chance against the Bengals. If there is one positive the Jags can take from this game, it’s that the Bengals have the 31st ranked run defense in the NFL. If the Jaguars can contain A.J. Green on the outside and get MJD the ball early and often, it could be an interesting day in Jacksonville, FL.
Who to root for: Jacksonville Jaguars
Chances of success: Moderate
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.