When the Ravens Have the Ball

It’s hard for me to get past the schedule of offenses that the Texans have faced this year.

They’ve played the NFL’s #1 easiest schedule of offenses this year.

Quite literally since Week 14, they’ve done nothing but play offenses that ranked 20th or worse on the season:

  • #31 Jets
  • #27 Browns twice
  • #24 Titans twice
  • #20 Colts

They haven’t played a single top-10 offense this year other than the Ravens.

The closest they came was the #12 ranked Bengals. Cincy scored 27 points on their defense, but the Texans won thanks to putting up 544 yards vs. the Bengals’ horrid #30 ranked defense.

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Meanwhile, from Week 14 onwards, the Ravens did nothing but play above-average defenses and win every game convincingly:

  • 56-19 vs. #10 MIA defense
  • 33-19 vs. #15 SF defense
  • 23-7 vs. #13 JAX defense
  • 37-31 vs. #17 LAR defense

Now they play the #16 ranked defense of the Texans, who haven’t earned that ranking thanks to the schedule they faced.

The Ravens don’t throw deep much on early downs but are elite when doing it, and the Texans are bad at defending it.

And when Baltimore throws short on early downs (within 10 yards) they rank:

  • #4 in EPA/att (+0.08)
  • #5 in success rate (50%)
  • #2 in YPA (6.6)
  • #7 in completion rate (77%)

This is a decided edge the Ravens have in this game if deeper passing is not as possible on account of the wind. The Texans offense is merely average in these metrics, the Ravens defense is top-five against it, and the Ravens own offense is top-five when throwing short.

When the Texans Have the Ball

One of the biggest areas of success for the Texans offense is their deep passing attack.

On early downs in the first three quarters of games, they average 8.3 YPA, the #2 highest in the NFL.

They rank #5 in the rate of passes thrown 15+ yards downfield.

The problem for them in this matchup is two-fold.

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