Could this be a big game for Joe Flacco?
Houston's pass defense ranking is deceiving to a certain degree when taking into account the caliber of quarterbacks they've faced for much of the early part of the season. And while the Texans fared well against the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Hasselback and Mark Sanchez, things didn't go anywhere near as smoothly against Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. Manning's Broncos fell to Houston, 31-25, in Week 3, but the quarterback threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Rodgers racked up 338 yards and six scoring passes in leading the Packers to a 42-24 win against the Texans last week. Houston's top cornerback Johnathan Joseph has struggled while battling a groin injury.
Is this going to be another tough week for the Ravens' run defense?
Arian Foster is obviously regarded as one of the NFL's elite running backs, but Houston's running game has actually struggled through the early part of the season. Foster has three 100-yard games, but is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. He was limited to 29 yards on 17 carries during the Texans' loss to the Packers last week. But within a run-first Houston offense, Foster figures to get plenty of opportunities, especially against a Baltimore defense that's yielded 441 rushing yards in its last two games.
Who's the main player to fear in the Texans' passing game?
In the past, this would've been an easy answer. Wide receiver Andre Johnson has been one of the NFL's top wide receivers for much of the last decade. But at 31, it appears Johnson's best days may be behind him. He's still capable of producing the occasional big play - like his 60-yard touchdown catch against the Broncos in Week 3 - but he's in the midst of the least productive year of his career and doesn't possess the same dominant skills he once did. That's not to say he's not still a dangerous player, and he of course poses an interesting matchup against a Ravens secondary in its first game without top cornerback Lardarius Webb, but it will also be intriguing to see how Baltimore fares against Houston tight end Owen Daniels. The Ravens have struggled against opposing tight ends and Daniels is one of the AFC's best. He leads the Texans with 26 catches for 357 yards and a team-high three touchdowns.