Texans bring new coach, rookie QB into matchup with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens

HOUSTON (3-13-1) at BALTIMORE (10-8)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS


SERIES RECORD: Ravens lead 10-2.

LAST MEETING: Ravens beat Texans 33-16 on Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Texans minus-1; Ravens plus-4.

TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: The Texans traded up to pick pass rusher Will Anderson at No. 3 overall. He's listed atop the depth chart at one defensive end spot this week after turning heads during the preseason.

RAVENS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Zay Flowers has received rave reviews after Baltimore drafted him in the first round out of Boston College. With TE Mark Andrews dealing with a quad injury, the Ravens might need a significant contribution from its revamped group of wide receivers.

KEY MATCHUP: Houston QB C.J. Stroud vs. Baltimore's secondary. Stroud makes his first career start after being drafted No. 2 overall by the Texans earlier this year. The former Ohio State star may go through some growing pains, but the Ravens have been banged up in their secondary during training camp, and their pass rush has some questions as well after losing Calais Campbell and Justin Houston from last season's team.

KEY INJURIES: Houston S Jimmie Ward (hip) missed practice time this week and LB Christian Harris (shoulder) was limited. ... Ravens LB Tyus Bowser begins the season on the non-football injury list, and CB Marlon Humphrey is recovering from surgery on his foot. Andrews has been limited in practice this week.

SERIES NOTES: Baltimore has never lost at home to the Texans, going 6-0 including a playoff victory. The previous time the Ravens hosted Houston they won 41-7 in 2019. ... LB Jadeveon Clowney, who recently signed with the Ravens, was drafted No. 1 overall by Houston in 2014.

STATS AND STUFF: The Texans (2002) and Ravens (1996) are the NFL's two youngest franchises. ... Houston WR Robert Woods has had at least 500 yards receiving in all 10 seasons since entering the league in 2013. ... S Jalen Pitre had 147 tackles last season, second most in Texans history by a rookie. The record holder — with 156 in 2006 — is DeMeco Ryans, who makes his debut as Houston's coach on Sunday. ... Stroud is set to become the second rookie in franchise history to start Week 1. The other was David Carr, who started the first game in Texans history in 2002 — a 19-10 win over Dallas. ... Houston RB Dameon Pierce ranked fourth among rookies last season with 1,104 yards from scrimmage. He became the third rookie in franchise history to surpass 1,000 yards. ... Since coach John Harbaugh took over, the Ravens are 11-4 in season openers. Only Philadelphia (12-3) is better in that span. ... With one more rushing TD, Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson will become the fifth player in NFL history to post 100 TDs passing and 25 rushing in his first six seasons. Josh Allen, Daunte Culpepper, Cam Newton and Dak Prescott are the others. ... The Ravens had multiple sacks in 13 consecutive games to finish the 2022 regular season. That's the league's longest current streak. ... Jackson is the only quarterback since the 1970 merger to reach 600 yards rushing in each of his first five seasons. ... Baltimore's Justin Tucker has 57 career FGs of at least 50 yards, one behind Sebastian Janikowski for second place on the NFL's career list. Matt Prater is No. 1 with 71. ... Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr. makes his return for his first game since injuring his knee in the Super Bowl two seasons ago while playing for the Los Angeles Rams. ... Jackson has 12 TD passes in four career Week 1 starts.

FANTASY TIP: Don't be surprised if RB J.K. Dobbins has a big opening game for a Baltimore team that returns a lot of experience on the offensive line. Dobbins is entering the final year of his rookie contract and showed late last season that he was healthy again after a knee injury cost him the whole 2021 season. Dobbins had 505 yards from scrimmage over the final five games, including the postseason.


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