Week 2 NFL Picks, Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

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Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

Time: 3:25 PM (EST)

Spread: BAL -9

Total: 49

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Baltimore Ravens smashed the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, dominating Cleveland at home to win 38-6. This week Baltimore hosts the Houstons Texans as 9-point favorites in NFL action beginning at 3:25 (EST) on CBS. The point total is set at 49 by NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes, as Baltimore looks to begin 1-0 on the road, as well.

BAL

The Ravens had little trouble disposing of Cleveland last week. The team used a furious rallying defense and an unstoppable offensive attack to basically run circles around the lowly Browns. Lamar Jackson was phenomenal. The former Louisville QB did what he does best: Everything.

Jackson threw 80 percent for completion en route to 275 yards, three touchdowns and a 94.0 passer rating. He also led the team in rushing yards with his 45, on seven attempts. Mark Ingram rushed 10 times for just 29 yards, and JK Dobbins had just 22 on his seven attempts. While Baltimore rushed to 111 yards and a pair of TDs, it did so in 30 attempts.

Marquise Brown led all receivers with 101 yards and a team-tying-high five receptions. His long-catch of 47-yards was the big play of the day for Jackson’s arm, though Jackson found so many ways to leave Cleveland’s defense sheerly confused. Willie Snead IV had four receptions for 64 yards and a TD, while Mark Andrews added two TD catches among his five total. The Ravens did commit two fumbles and lost one, but Cleveland of course matched that with two fumbles of its own, which the Ravens recovered. In all, Cleveland committed a third which was recovered.

The Ravens executed all aspects of the game well, including Sam Koch’s superb punting. He managed to punt three for 125 yards while placing two of those within the 20, and punting a long of 49. Tucker nailed his only field goal, a 41-yard attempt, and completed all five of his PATs. Baltimore had few, if any, holes in Week 1, and if it continues that excellence it should leave Week 2 with a 2-0 mark behind it.

HOU

The Houston Texans lost in Week 1, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 20-34 on the road. Houston has a tough fight this year with Jacksonville and Tennessee both vastly improved in the AFC South. In Week 1, Deshaun Watson did fairly well, but he did throw a costly interception and suffer four sacks. Despite that, his 20 of 32 passing for 253 yards and a TD showed plenty of promise. Pat Mahomes had a game on the other end, but if Watson had not thrown a pick, it would have been a fairly equitable matchup from the QB aspect at least. David Johnson rushed 11 times for 77 yards and a TD, while Watson had just 27 yards but did score a touchdown.

Duke Johnson added just 14 yards on his five attempts, but Houston rushed for 118 yards overall and the rush attack was dangerous. Will Fuller V did his work as a receiver, managing 8 of 10 targeted passes for 112 yards. However, only Jordan Akins managed a TD reception, on two catches for 39 yards total. David Johnson was No. 2 in receptions with three out of the backfield for 32 yards.

Houston managed just two pass plays over 20-yards, but it was perhaps more surprising that Mahomes’ and his cannon had none. The Texans’ secondary did a good job considering its heady task.

Overall, the Texans put together a pretty strong game to suffer a loss in, and the team is hoping with the same execution it could prevail this week. Watson had a strong Week 1, but the Ravens defense is daunting and he will have to remain on his toes to prevent being a sack victim, as he was in the opener to the tune of four times. The Texans line has to be tougher, while Watson also should ideally be a more effective rusher than his Week 1 would indicate, notwithstanding his touchdown.

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