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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 7: Baltimore Ravens At Houston Texans

Ravens
Texans
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Quarterback
Joe Flacco is not coming off his most inspired effort, but his team still emerged victorious in Week Six against the Cowboys. That Flacco can lead his team to a win when he is not having his best game speaks volumes. Flacco can easily bounce back due to his size, arm strength and passing accuracy.
Winner Matt Schaub and the Texans had a miserable night against the Packers and tasted defeat for the first time this season. This does not mean the Texans are not going to bounce back and remain an elite team in the AFC. Schaub is an accurate passer, reads defenses well and generally makes the right decision with the football.
Offense
The Ravens are going to stick the ball in the arms of Ray Rice on a regular basis from start to finish. That’s an excellent decision because Rice runs between the tackles and he can also get to the outside and make big plays. Torrey Smith is a big-play wide receiver while Anquan Boldin will make the tough plays on third downs. The offensive line is solid and consistent.
Winner While the Ravens like to give the ball to Rice, the Texans want to give the ball to Arian Foster. He may be the best all-around back in the league because he’s an excellent receiver and a solid blocker. Wide receiver Andre Johnson needs to assert himself and let his talent dominate. Owen Daniels is a dependable tight end.
Defense
The Ravens have taken a couple of huge blows on the injury front. It looks like middle linebacker Ray Lewis (triceps) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee) are out for the season. Haloti Ngata is struggling with a foot injury and Terrell Suggs is not scheduled to return until Week Nine. The Ravens are in trouble on the defensive front.
Winner The Texans got embarrassed by the Packers in the Sunday night game, so look for a huge reversal this week. The loss of linebacker Brian Cushing hurts them, but they have a solid defense led by J.J Watt who may be the defensive player of the year.
Special Teams
Winner The Ravens got a huge lift from their special teams in the win over the Cowboys as Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a score in the third quarter. Justin Tucker has given the Ravens dependability in the kicking game, making 12-of-13 FG attempts this year.
The Texans are fairly consistent on special teams. They don’t usually hurt the Texans but they don’t often make big plays. Shayne Graham is a dependable kicker who made a 51-yard field goal against the Packers. Donnie Jones has a solid leg and he averaged 51.5 yards per punt against the Packers.

The Winner Is

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Winner Texans
3 out of 4

The Ravens may be coming off a 31-29 win over the Cowboys, but they appeared to get hit hard by injuries as they lost cornerback Lardarius Webb and middle linebacker Ray Lewis to serious injuries. They will have their hands filled with the Texans, who should be motivated after losing their first game of the season to the Packers in Week Six.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

See All Tales of the Tape

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