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Katz: What a stinker on Monday night, yet a very relevant game. I feel like the Ravens don't deserve to be a touchdown favorite over anyone, but their defense has dominated bad offenses.
RC: Here’s what even crazier about this game – if HOU wins, they draw to within 2 games down in the division with games with JAC and TEN to come. If they somehow beat BAL, and then knock off a very knock-off-able TEN team the following week…they could be 1-2 game behind JAX, and have a 2-0 edge over TEN/Titans done. They host SF Week 15…so that would jump them to 7-6 heading to JAX Week 15. Houston has a path but they gotta win this game or it’s even more impossible.
It’s crazy when I say it but if Houston uses Dylan Cole in this game (and he is back full practicing) to cover Danny Woodhead…and just be awesome otherwise – they can win this game. I think Houston is sitting on a nuclear bomb player on defense…a game-changer…and they’re reluctant to use him for reasons I don’t understand. He’s been hurt for weeks. He’s active and plays a lot of snaps tonight – Houston wins/keeps close.
Tom Savage looked last week but that may be a head fake. If he takes down BAL at BAL…sweet Tom Savage (not our Tom Savage…who I’m sure is sweet in his own way)!!!
Rabbitt: Another game I want no interest in betting. If I was forced to bet it, I'm taking Houston as I don't trust the Ravens to be 7.5 better than anyone.
Savage: Ravens are my best bet so there can only be one sweet Tom Savage tonight.
I thought this before seeing the Packers score some points on Pittsburgh, but it seems more true now: the Ravens defense is really good. You can run on them a little bit, but they've dominated teams with mediocre to bad running games. Houston is not good at running the ball, which means we'll see a lot of 2nd and 3rd and long situations for Tom Savage. Jimmy Smith has mostly shut down #1 WR's, so Savage won't be able to rely on Hopkins as much as he normally would.
I expect the Ravens D to dominate this game and set up the offense with easy situations. I need a big game from Tucker in some leagues and I think 3+ field goals is a strong possibility.
Skolman: I’m with Savage on this one (our Savage). Last night may have gotten people in the mood to back underdogs but Pittsburgh routinely throws up on themselves vs bad competition. The Ravens on the other hand...they shut out bad teams and defend their home field. I want a big night from our man Tucker too...Flacco seems to be playing better the further we get from his back surgery, Woodhead back in the mix is dynamite...all this vs Ellington...I’ll lay the 7.5 and bet against the NFL providing two exciting games in row.
Katz: I sure hope you're right, but I can't shake the feeling that the Ravens will find a way to botch this. I'm on the Texans not just because I think 7.5 is too many, but because I think there's a legitimate (not high, but it's there) chance that they can win this game.