Here are Five Things to Watch when the Texans line up against the Ravens during their Week 3 matchup in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium.
1. Blindsided- With all due respect to Ravens’ tackle Michael Oher, the Texans’ left tackle position is under a bigger spotlight this week. Oher was the featured subject in the Michael Lewis book, and 2011 movie “Blindside”. He’s the right tackle now for Baltimore.
Houston’s left tackle position will almost certainly be manned Sunday by
He and right tackle
“I’m prepared for any situation I’m called upon and it’s exciting to be in the NFL,” Harris said. “This is what you live for, the opportunities.”
He also acknowledged that he’ll have to bring his “’A’ game” against the Ravens’ talented pass-rushers.
2. Reed’s Return- At long last, it appears safety
A common theme that emerges when a player takes the field against his former team, which will be the case for Reed facing the Ravens, is that the player has ‘insider knowledge’. That idea doesn’t mean much to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
“He’ll tell you a little about what a receiver likes to run or offensive line, he can tell us a little bit about them,” Phillips said. “It’s overrated to a great extent, I would think.”
Nevertheless, if Reed’s in the lineup, the NFL’s active leader in career interceptions with 61 will certainly have Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco’s attention.
3. Air Tight?- With 18 and 12 points, tight ends
But healthwise, keep an eye on the two. Daniels, as has been the case for much of the last few seasons, didn’t practice Wednesday. Head coach Gary Kubiak routinely sits the veteran from time-to-time to give him rest. On Thursday, meanwhile, Garrett Graham watched from the sidelines because of a sore hip.
“He got a hip pointer about a few weeks ago, missed a little time in practice in the preseason and his hip got sore on him,” Kubiak said Thursday. “Hopefully, he feels better.”
4. Ravens Runners- Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, combined, have carried the ball 53 times for 149 yards in 2013. That 2.8 yards per carry average is skewed a bit because the Ravens were forced to throw a lot more during the season-opening loss at Denver.
But Rice didn’t participate in practice this week because of a hip injury. Despite the lower numbers so far in 2013, Phillips said Pierce is “a good back”. Should Rice not being able to go, Phillips thinks the Baltimore passing game bears watching.
“I think the pass game is probably affected a little bit more,” Phillips said. “Ray Rice is such a great player. You can out him out of the backfield and he can run routes and he runs them like a wide receiver. They lose a little bit there, but the running game, they’re really strong with the big fullback and the power offensive linemen.”
5. Kick it- The lone field goal
“There’s disappointment because obviously we think he’s a heck of a kicker,” Kubiak said. “He’s got plenty of leg. Of the four misses, three of them are 50 yards. So it’s not like I’m giving him chip shots.”
Although he’s struggled on field goal tries, Bullock’s been brilliant on kickoffs. Of his nine kickoffs, eight were touchbacks. Last season, Shayne Graham kicked off 89 times, and only 28 of those resulted in touchbacks.