Texans Special Teams: Signed in the offseason after establishing himself as one of the top punters in the league during his time in Oakland, Shane Lechler has been everything the Texans had hoped, dropping eight of his 10 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. There is concern though with kicker Randy Bullock who is just 1-of-5 on field goal attempts this season. Three of those five attempts are from 50 yards or beyond. Keshawn Martin handles punt and kick returns.
Ravens Intangibles: Harbaugh's Ravens are 42-20 against AFC foes over the past six seasons. They have been especially dominant at home, winning 25 of their last 28 games at M&T Bank Stadium. They haven't lost a home game in September since the 2006 season. The Ravens should be buoyed emotionally by the return of former teammate and team leader Ray Lewis who will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime.
Texans Intangibles: Texans coach Gary Kubiak was quick to point out this week that his team could very easily be 0-2 instead to 2-0. But Houston has made the plays down the stretch, becoming the first team since the 1970 merger to win each of its first two games on the game's final play. The Texans are 1-5 in six career meetings with the Ravens and they've never won in Baltimore. However, they blasted the eventual Super Bowl champions, 43-13, last October at Reliant Stadium.
PREDICTION: The Ravens are a far different team than the group that was overwhelmed in Houston last year, but the fact remains that the Texans provide matchup problems for them on both sides of the ball. A resurgent Ravens’ pass rush can only cover up so much. Until the Ravens find both chemistry and consistency on offense, it’s going to be tough for them to beat the league's elite teams. The bet here is that they’ll do enough to keep it close but they’ll fall short in the end.