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Can Texans Knock Off The Defending Super Bowl Champs?

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By Dave Thomas

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 15: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens motions to the crowd during the second half of the Ravens 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Credit, Rob Carr/Getty Images)

After struggling to put away a Tennessee team that is not expected to do much this season, the Houston Texans (2-0) take their show on the road this coming Sunday, meeting the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

Houston, which had to come back from a 21-point deficit in its opener to beat San Diego (31-28), struggled with visiting Tennessee this past Sunday, ultimately scoring a 30-24  victory in overtime. With the win, the Texans made themselves the only unbeaten team in the AFC South, leading both the Colts and Titans by a game.

As the Texans prepare to head to Maryland for Sunday’s game, they no doubt will look to avoid having to pull out late game theatrics in order to go to 3-0. In the win over Tennessee, the Texans trailed 24-16 before staging their rally.

In the win over the Titans, Houston quarterback Matt Schaub finished 26-of-48 for 298 yards passing and three TDs (also had two interceptions). The bigger news for the Texans was that star wide receiver Andre Johnson was injured in the contest. According to the team, Johnson had to be evaluated for a possible concussion.

In Johnson’s place, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins came up with the game-winner, a three-yard TD reception in overtime. For the day, Hopkins finished with seven catches for 117 yards.

Meantime, Houston’s ground game (Arian Foster and Ben Tate) combined for 172 yards rushing, with Foster scoring once.

Ravens Survive Scare From Browns

When the Texans meet up with Joe Flacco and the Ravens, they will encounter a team that struggled for much of the first half against AFC North Division rival Cleveland on Sunday. Although Baltimore escaped with a 14-6 victory over the Browns, Raven fans could not be overly excited with what they saw from the defending Super Bowl champs.

Baltimore (1-1) did not crack the scoreboard against the Browns until running back Bernard Pierce took the ball in from five yards out in the third quarter, giving the Ravens (with the extra point) the lead for good at 7-6. The Ravens added another score on a five-yard TD pass from Flacco to Marlon Brown in the fourth quarter. For the day, Flacco was 22-of-33 for 211 yards and one TD.

After being blown out in their season opener (at Denver, 49-27), the Ravens now look to make it two in a row with a victory against a Houston team that must run the gauntlet the next three weekends.

Following the game with Baltimore, Houston is home to host Seattle, then travels to defending NFC Champion San Francisco on Oct. 6.

For the all-time series between the Texans and Ravens, Baltimore leads the match up 6-1. Houston got its first win in the series last season, blowing out the Ravens 43-13 at Reliant Stadium.

For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.

Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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