Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Date and Time: Monday, November 27, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Opening NFL Odds: Ravens -7, O/U 38
Texans vs. Ravens TV Coverage: ESPN
Tom Savage is really trying his darndest to keep the Texans in the playoff hunt this season. No one seems to want to take Wild Card slots in the AFC, so Houston truly is just as much in it as the next team that is 4-6 or 5-5. However, at some point, the Texans are going to have to string multiple wins together. Last week's win over Arizona was a nice step in the right direction, but a lot more than that is needed to keep this squad alive.
At least Savage is starting to throw some touchdown passes. After going almost 150 pass attempts without his first career touchdown, Savage threw his first score three weeks ago. He logged his first-career two-touchdown game last week against Arizona.
Baltimore has had some games this season in which it has looked like gangbusters. The defense already has three shutouts to its credit against Cincinnati, Miami and Green Bay.
However, this is a unit that also allowed the Bears to put 27 points on the board against it and watched Jacksonville put 44 up in London back in Week 3.
So, the question: Will the real Baltimore Ravens please stand up?
Joe Flacco has thrown for just 1,734 yards this season, and he has thrown 319 passes to get there. It's unbelievable to think that he is averaging just 5.4 yards per pass attempt and has a 9/11 TD/INT ratio.
Still, what good would it do to sit him down? Ryan Mallett is just 9-for-16 for 56 yards this year. Sure, he has two touchdown passes and no picks in that span, but between his stint last year as a starter when Flacco went down and his time in Houston, we've all seen enough proof that he isn't a starting quarterback in this league.
All of the Texans' injuries have been well-documented this year, but it's worth listing all of the problems that Bill O'Brien and the gang are having to put up with.
First it was Whitney Mercilus who was knocked out for the season. Then it was J.J. Watt. Then it was Deshaun Watson. Then it was D'Onta Foreman.
Let's also not forget that starters, Greg Mancz, Kevin Johnson and Will Fuller are probably out of the fold as well, and Brian Cushing is in the midst of serving a 10-game suspension for PED usage. Alfred Blue badly needs to be healthy to spell Lamar Miller every now and again, but he's dealing with a hamstring problem. Christian Covington, who was just starting to come around at defensive end, was just put on IR a few weeks back, too.
Go ahead and take away three of the best four defensive players on any team in the NFL, then watch the starting quarterback go down with a freak injury in practice. Take away a second- and third-string running back, a starting defensive end, a center and a receiver. Now tell us how well that team would be playing.
Texans vs. Ravens Free Picks
The Texans have never won in Baltimore in four tries, and they aren't going to be breaking their maiden in this game either. The Ravens' defense is just playing too well at the moment to be scored upon by Savage, and Houston's defense just isn't good enough to keep Flacco and the gang out of the end zone.
Though this isn't going to be the prettiest Monday nighter on the face of the earth, there's no reason to believe the Ravens won't beat the line set by the best NFL sportsbooks.
NFL ATS Pick: Ravens -7 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Ravens 19, Texans 7