1:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005
1:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005
Houston (1-10) at Baltimore (3-8) Sunday 1:00 pm EST
BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Brian Billick and Dom Capers are enduring a nightmare in 2005.
In his seventh season as Ravens coach, Billick is one loss away from his second losing campaign, the other coming when Baltimore went 7-9 in 2002.
Billick led the Ravens to their only Super Bowl title in the 2000 season, but Baltimore has made the playoffs just once since then. This season, Billick again has watched his offense struggle, which has led to speculation about his job security.
Baltimore, which is in last place in the AFC North, ranks 31st in scoring offense, averaging just 13.2 points.
The Texans' coach since their inception in 2002, Capers has watched his team go backwards this season. After winning four, five and seven games in their first three seasons, the Texans have the NFL's worst record.
Like the Ravens, the Texans also have struggled offensively. Their biggest problem has been protecting quarterback David Carr, who has been sacked 50 times in 11 games.
Last week, the Ravens and Texans both enjoyed their best offensive outputs of the season. However, each came in losing efforts.
Kyle Boller threw for 211 yards and a season-high three touchdowns in the Ravens' 42-29 loss at Cincinnati.
The Texans squandered a 24-3 halftime lead in last week's 33-27 overtime loss to St. Louis. To make matters worse, Houston allowed the lead to get away against rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
Series: The Ravens won the only meeting between the teams in 2002.
Next week: Cincinnati hosts Cleveland, December 11 Houston visits Tennessee, December 11
Harbaugh's brother: Family staying out of it
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he doesn't want to know what brother Jim Harbaugh's future coaching plans are and that any reports about the family swaying him to Michigan are "absolutely false."
Flacco: Super Bowl the standard for Ravens
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco says having a winning season isn't complete without a Super Bowl title.
Week 17 ESPN NFL Power Rankings: Patriots hold on to No. 1 spot; Broncos fall to No. 5
The Patriots are still No.1, but the surging Seahawks gained support.
Boller looks to build on momentum
Houston has the weapons at receiver to move the ball through the air against a Baltimore secondary that has been hit with a rash of injuries. However, RB Domanick Davis will be working against a Ravens' defense that has been fairly stout against the run, and the Texans can't afford to become a one-dimensional passing attack.
If they abandon the run, Baltimore's pass rush will be able to fly upfield and force QB David Carr to get rid of the ball quickly. Houston's coaching staff should look to help Davis with different formations, but the bottom line is the Texans' inconsistent offensive line needs to have a strong game.
Baltimore will look to hand the ball off to RB Jamal Lewis early and often, working against a Houston defense that has had problems stopping the run all year. With injuries thinning the depth on the defensive side of the ball, the hope is this approach allows the Ravens to sustain long drives that keep their defense well rested. That being said, QB Kyle Boller will have to make some plays with his arm and he can expect to see plenty of blitzes when the Texans are able to put him in situations with pass-heavy tendencies.
|Avg Points Allowed||28.4||20.1|
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||HOU|
|Rush Yds Allowed||HOU|
|Baltimore leads 2-0|
|Dec 15, 2002||HOU 19, BAL 23|