The Ravens are still struggling to find the right chemistry while the Texans already have an identity on both offense and defense, and are simply picking up from where they left off last season.
Texans 23, Ravens 16
With Ray Rice banged up and Joe Flacco just getting into sync with his receivers, this is a bad time to face the Texans and that nasty defensive line. The home-field advantage will help some, but not enough.
The Ravens haven't shown much that suggests they can beat an AFC powerhouse like the Texans. But after getting whooped by the Texans last year, the Ravens will make a statement at home on Sunday.
Texans 24, Ravens 20
Ravens fall short in difficult matchup against Texans defense headlined by defensive lineman J.J. Watt and linebacker Brian Cushing and offense featuring balance between running game split between Arian Foster and Ben Tate and passing game led by quarterback Matt Schaub.
Much like the Broncos, the Texans are just not a good matchup for the Ravens, who are still developing an offensive and defensive identity. Houston won't be as forgiving of the Ravens' shortcomings as the Browns were.
While this is not a must-win, how the Ravens play may well determine if the Purple & Black are up to the task of defending their championship. Even a close loss might be cause for optimism. However in this one the home team is up against a solid QB who will be more than capable of accepting the gifts the Ravens secondary may bestow upon him.