Texans Coach Bill O’Brien Looking to Avoid Repeat Performance against Ravens
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens dominated every facet of the game against the Houston Texans last season.
Baltimore amassed 491 total yards en route to a 41-7 victory.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 17 of 24 pass attempts for 222 yards with four touchdowns (139.2 rating). Jackson also ran for 79 yards on 10 carries,
The Texans will need to contain that high-powered offense to give themselves a chance to topple Baltimore.
“It didn’t go so well last year," Texans coach Bill O’Brien said in a conference call with the Baltimore media. "We need to play a much more disciplined football game on Sunday than we did last year.”
The Ravens opened the season with a dominant 38-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson completed 20 of 25 pass attempts for 274 yards with three touchdowns (152.1 rating). He also ran for 45 yards on seven carries. Wide receiver Hollywood Brown finished with five receptions for 101 yards and .tight end Mark Andrews had a pair of touchdown receptions.
"Lamar did a really good job, and our offensive line did a good job of creating time in the pocket which allowed the coverage to expand," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It wasn’t like we were over top of them. I thought they did a good job of keeping the plays in front, but the coverage expanded so much. Our guys worked hard to get open. Lamar has amazing vision and can throw on the move. He sees the field so well. To me, those are the keys to that.”
The Texans are looking to bounce back from a 34-20 loss to the defending Super-Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson was 20 of 32 for 253 yards with a touchdown and interception. He was sacked four times and the Texans will need to do a better job against Baltimore's aggressive pass rush.
Watson threw for 169 yards with an interception and was sacked six times against the Ravens last year.
Houston can help control the tempo behind David Johnson, who ran for 77 yards with a touchdown against the Chiefs. Watson will also look for wide receiver Will Fuller downfield after he had eight receptions for 112 yards against the Chiefs.
"He's a guy since he's coming into the league-high yards per catch guy, excellent contested catch guy," Harbaugh said about Fuller. "He's a go-to receiver for sure, very talented, very fast. They have a number of good receivers, all high-end receivers."
Nonetheless, this will be a tough matchup for the Texans, who are 6.5-point underdogs.