Monday Night Football, Week 13. Tonight the 4-6 Houston Texans travel northeast to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland to take on the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens in what passes for a scintillating quest for the playoffs in the AFC.
The Texans come into the game losers of three of their last four games after being dealt the devastating blow of losing star rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson to injury for the year. Tom Savage stepped into the starting quarterback role in Watson's absence, and the results have for the most part been ugly, though the Texans did manage a 31 point outburst last week in a win against the Arizona Cardinals. The Texans' defense, usually one of the best in the league, has been devastated by season ending injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus and currently sits at a surprisingly poor 19th in the NFL.
The Ravens come into the game having shut out two of their last three opponents and have fielded the NFL's 7th ranked defense. The offense, on the other hand, has been dreadful, ranked 31st in the NFL. Old friend Marty Mornhinweg has not done the Ravens any favors as offensive coordinator, and quarterback Joe Flacco is having the worst season of his career. With Flacco playing like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL and the Ravens having almost nothing in the way of offensive weapons surrounding him it should come as no surprise the Ravens have struggled on offense.
This game looks like a defensive struggle on paper, with points hard to come by. That sometimes translates into a 35-31 type slugfest in real life. Whatever transpires, this uninspiring matchup of two mediocre teams in prime time is an unfortunate byproduct of how few really good teams there are in the AFC this year. This is a very important game for the playoff aspirations of both teams. In a typical year neither team should probably have playoff aspirations.
It's the Texans and the Ravens on Monday Night.
Enjoy the game everybody. As always we ask that you neither ask for nor post illegal streaming links.