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RAVENS PASSING GAME: Quarterback Lamar Jackson posted the second perfect passer rating of his career in Sunday’s 49-13 blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals. He completed 15 of 17 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns, showing how dangerous he can be as a play-action passer. Rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown, seemingly healthy again, had one of his best games with four catches on four targets for 80 yards. As usual, Jackson relied most heavily on tight ends Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst, completing 12 passes on 14 targets to the trio for a combined 151 yards. Andrews remains his go-to receiver on third down. The Ravens rank 20th in passing yards but seventh in yards per attempt, demonstrating Jackson’s efficiency when he goes to the air. He ranks fourth in ESPN’s QBR measure for total quarterback performance.

TEXANS PASSING GAME: Deshaun Watson is one of Jackson’s top rivals in the MVP race. He’s completed 70.2% of his passes for 2,432 yards and 18 touchdowns against just five interceptions. DeAndre Hopkins is still his top receiver with 68 catches on 92 targets but has averaged a career-low 9.8 yards per catch. Will Fuller IV ranks second on the team in catches but missed the Texans’ last two games with a hamstring injury. Kenny Stills has been a deep threat, averaging 16.7 yards per catch, and tight end Darren Fells has been effective in the red zone, with six touchdown catches. The Texans have been somewhat less than the sum of their parts, ranking 12th in the NFL in passing despite their collection of individual stars. Their offensive line has played unevenly, allowing Watson to take 25 sacks. Houston’s best lineman, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, missed Week 9 with a shoulder injury but could return against the Ravens.

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EDGE: Texans

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RAVENS RUNNING GAME: The Ravens rushed for a season-low 136 yards against the Bengals but averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Jackson leads the team with 702 rushing yards and spun his way to a 47-year touchdown against Cincinnati that will live on in highlight reels. He’s run for five touchdowns in the team’s last four games. Mark Ingram II has been excellent as well with 619 yards and eight touchdowns as an off-tackle counterpoint to Jackson. He’s also emerged as an effective option runner the last two weeks. The Ravens lead the NFL in total rushing and yards per carry.

TEXANS RUNNING GAME: This might be the best ground offense the Ravens have faced this season. The Texans rank fourth in rushing and fourth in yards per attempt. They’ve exceeded 100 yards in seven of nine games and hit a season-high 216 in their Week 9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like the Ravens, the Texans hurt opponents will multiple threats. Carlos Hyde leads them with 704 rushing yards and has averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Duke Johnson has been an effective third-down back, averaging 5.3 yards per carry while also giving Watson another receiving threat. Watson is the team’s other significant runner, with 279 yards and five touchdowns on the season.

EDGE: Ravens

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RAVENS RUSH DEFENSE: The Ravens struggled in the first half against Cincinnati after they lost defensive tackle Michael Pierce to an ankle injury. The Bengals rushed for 157 yards, the second most Don “Wink” Martindale’s defense has surrendered all season. If the Ravens are without Pierce against Houston’s more talented ground attack, they could be in trouble. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams has played well in recent weeks and posted a season-high seven tackles while carrying a heavy workload against Cincinnati. Linebacker Josh Bynes has steadied the middle of the defense, earning excellent grades against the run from Pro Football Focus. The Ravens rank eighth in total run defense but have allowed 4.3 yards per carry, just 18th best in the league.

TEXANS RUSH DEFENSE: The Texans have been solid here, ranking third in rushing defense and allowing 4.1 yards per carry. They haven’t allowed an opponent to rush for more than 100 yards since Week 2. Linebackers Zach Cunningham and Benardrick McKinney lead the Texans in tackles and grade as very good to excellent run defenders, according to Pro Football Focus. Defensive tackle D.J. Reader has been outstanding on the interior

EDGE: Texans

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RAVENS PASS DEFENSE: The Ravens produced a defensive touchdown for the third straight game Sunday when cornerback Marcus Peters stepped in front of the Bengals’ Alex Erickson for an interception and never looked back. It was Peters’ second pick-six in just three games with the Ravens and his third of the season. With Peters and Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens have two of the NFL’s top cover corners, and Jimmy Smith has also played well since returning from a knee sprain that cost him six games. Safety Earl Thomas III has also put himself in line for a potential Pro Bowl appearance. The Ravens got sacks from two unusual sources in Patrick Ricard and Chris Wormley against Cincinnati, and their top pass rusher, Matthew Judon, also played well with two quarterback hits and three tackles for loss. The Ravens still rank just 20th in overall pass defense, but they’re on the way up.

TEXANS PASS DEFENSE: This is Houston’s weakness. The Texans miss all-world pass rusher J.J. Watt, who’s on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. They rank 29th in pass defense and have allowed opponents to average 6.7 yards per attempt. Unlike the Ravens, they have not made up for loose coverage with big plays off turnovers. Cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Gareon Conley have been average at best, though the Texans might benefit from the return of cornerback Bradley Roby, who’s been out since Week 6 with a hamstring injury.

EDGE: Ravens

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RAVENS SPECIAL TEAMS: Justin Tucker didn’t attempt a field goal against the Bengals, so he remains 17-for-17 on the season. He did ricochet one of his seven successful extra-point attempts off the goal post. Sam Koch also had a light work day with just one punt. He’s put 11 of his 21 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. De’Anthony Thomas had little chance to shine in his Ravens debut with just one punt and one kickoff return. The Ravens have played well in punt coverage, allowing opponents 5.7 yards per return, but have struggled on kickoff coverage in recent weeks.

TEXANS SPECIAL TEAMS: Ka’imi Fairbairn has made just 13 of 17 field-goal attempts and has missed five extra points. Bryan Anger is averaging 44.9 yards per punt and putting almost half his punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. DeAndre Carter has been solid on punt returns, averaging 8.9 yards, but hasn’t returned a kickoff more than 28 yards all season. The Texans have covered well on both punts and kickoffs.

EDGE: Ravens

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RAVENS INTANGIBLES: The Ravens could hardly be more confident, riding a five-game winning streak as they return home for an exciting matchup with another AFC divisional leader. They’ve gelled around Jackson as he continues to make his case for league MVP, and aside from the injury to Pierce, they’re healthy with seven games to go. They know they cannot afford to let up with the Pittsburgh Steelers playing well and lurking two games back in the AFC North.

TEXANS INTANGIBLES: The Texans lost their best defensive player in Watt but have not fallen off as they pursue an AFC South title behind the MVP-level play of Watson. They’ll be fresh coming off a bye week and have won three of five on the road this season. They’re seeking their fourth playoff appearance in six seasons under coach Bill O’Brien.

EDGE: Ravens

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PREDICTION: The Texans present a difficult matchup for the Ravens with their multi-faceted offense and stout run defense. Watson is the rare player capable of matching Jackson highlight for highlight. But the Ravens are playing as confidently as they have in years with the most exciting offense in team history. They’ll edge out a tough opponent in a home-field shootout. Ravens 34, Texans 31.

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