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Ravens vs. Texans staff picks: Who will win Sunday’s game in Houston?

Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Houston Texans at NRG Stadium:

C.J. Doon, editor

Ravens 34, Texans 17: I picked a close game last week thinking the Browns had enough talent to keep up with the Ravens. I won’t make that mistake again. While Deshaun Watson is among the league’s top quarterbacks, the Texans’ offseason trade of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals deprives the offense of its most dynamic playmaker. J.J. Watt is not the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate he once was, and Houston’s secondary didn’t have much luck slowing Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes in the opener. The Ravens should be able to bottle up Watson like they did in last year’s blowout, and Lamar Jackson and Co. will exploit a Texans defense that just doesn’t have enough pieces.

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Daniel Oyefusi, reporter

Ravens 28, Texans 16: In a non-coronavirus engulfed world, this is the type of game that would certainly lend itself to a Texans upset. But without a clear home-field advantage, I see the Ravens winning this game decisively. The Ravens won last season’s matchup in a rout, and while the Texans had a couple extra days of preparation, that won’t be enough to mask some glaring problems on the offensive line and in the secondary that the Ravens will exploit.

Mike Preston, columnist

Ravens 28, Texans 13: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is overrated. The Ravens will shut down Houston’s running game and make them one-dimensional. Watson can’t beat the Ravens with his arm and his group of receivers is average.

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Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Ravens 35, Texans 20: After opening the NFL season with a loss to Kansas City, Houston has had some time to regroup. Deshaun Watson can’t be underestimated, especially after last year’s blowout loss in Baltimore. J.J. Watt is back on defense. But the best the Texans can hope for is that the more talented Ravens hurt themselves. If left tackle Ronnie Stanley can’t go and their retooled defense can’t contain running back David Johnson, they’ll be on upset alert.

Childs Walker, reporter

Ravens 37, Texans 24: The Texans can’t be taken lightly as long as they have Deshaun Watson creating something from nothing at the most important position on the field. But the Houston defense could not stop the Ravens last season and could not stop the Chiefs in Week 1. The Ravens need to improve their run blocking to operate at peak efficiency, but they simply have more ways to win on both sides of the ball.

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