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Monday, December 13, 2010

MNF: Ravens Perspective

Players to Watch

QB Joe Flacco- He has been on fire recently, and even had a solid game against the great Steelers defense last week. Flacco and Matt Ryan were drafted in the same class and while Ryan gets a lot of the attention, Flacco is not far behind him in terms of talent. Tonight he faces the worst defense in the league, so you can expect another great game from Flacco as the Ravens will air it out against the Texans.

S Ed Reed- Despite only playing in 6 games this year, veteran Ed Reed has made a large impact on the team with 4 interceptions. Reed and Lewis are the leaders of the Ravens defense and they will be needed to stop a Texans offense that has no problems with scoring. Reed will look to neutralize Andre Johnson by providing extra help over the middle and capitalizing on any mistakes that Matt Schaub makes.

LB Terrell Suggs- Averaging over 5 sacks in his last 5 games, Suggs has become a nightmare for opposing QBs this season. He is currently playing some of his best football since his tremendous rookie season. Schaub usually gets decent protection from his offensive lineman, but they will need to step up tonight if they hope to contain Suggs. Turnovers and sacks are the best ways to stop a high powered offense so Suggs must keep the pressure on Schaub throughout the game.

Key Matchup: DT Haloti Ngata v. RB Arian Foster– In a battle of strength versus strength, the top rusher in the league will face one of the best tackles. Foster is averaging over 100 yards per game, but those yards will be hard to come by against the Ravens stellar rush defense. The 350 pound behemoth takes up a lot of space in the middle and moves extremely well for a big man. Ngata is an asset to both the pass and rush defense. If Ngata can stuff Foster in the backfield, the Texans will lose their play-action ability, which is a key to their success.

Why the Ravens Will Win- 3 of their 4 losses were to the Patriots, Steelers, and Falcons, all elite teams, and they haven’t lost a game by more than 5 points. Their defense is one of the best in the league, and while their offense has struggled at times, playing the Houston Texans is a great recipe for righting the ship. Houston has lost 6 of their last 8, and their playoff hopes are slim at best. The Ravens are clearly the better team and have more to play for in this game and will come away with the W.

Prediction: Ravens 31, Texans 20

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