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Ravens defense to be tested by Texans

OWINGS MILLS - For the most part, the Houston Texans' offense hasn't changed.
Matt Schaub is still the quarterback. Running back Arian Foster is still the centerpiece of the offense. And wide receiver Andre Johnson and tight end Owen Daniels, as they have been for several years, are Schaub's primary weapons in the passing game.
Houston's offensive line is also mostly the same.
But what's made an already explosive offense even more potent is rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who has added a dimension opposite Johnson that Houston has not had. The Ravens' defense is coming off a dominant showing against the Cleveland Browns, but it will be tested Sunday by that Texans offense.
"It will definitely be a challenge," Baltimore inside linebacker Josh Bynes said. "They're a balanced offense. They can run the ball and throw the ball, and they have a good offensive line. They've got a good quarterback, good running backs, receivers. They've got it all on offense, and it's definitely a challenge facing a team like that."
Houston Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown may not be able to play against the Ravens because of the sprained toe he suffered last week, but the Texans' offense would still be dangerous even without Brown.
Schaub has thrown for 644 yards and six touchdowns through two games. Houston, with Foster and Ben Tate, ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards. Johnson leads the AFC in receiving yards. Hopkins ranks fifth. And Daniels has three touchdown catches.
Houston struggled some on offense during its opener against the San Diego Chargers. But after scoring just seven points in the first two-and-a-half quarters of that game, the Texans have scored 47 points on offense in the six or so quarters since.
"This will be a great challenge for our defense to see where we're at," Baltimore defensive tackle Arthur Jones said.
But the Ravens are confident regarding their defense heading into this game. Baltimore gave up a franchise-record 49 points in its season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos, but its defense has otherwise been a bright spot for much of the summer.
And against the Browns on Sunday, the Ravens limited running back Trent Richardson, consistently harassed quarterback Brandon Weeden with their pass rush and finished the game having allowed just six points and 259 yards.
Cleveland isn't the same caliber of offense as Houston, but Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said the performance was encouraging, especially considering what happened against the Broncos.
But, as Jones alluded to, playing against the Texans will provide Baltimore's defense with a better gauge of just how good it really is.
"We played much better," Pees said. "But we've still got a lot to work on. There are still some things that we need to get touched up. But it was gratifying to see us play better."

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