Originally written on Ravens Football Machine  |  Last updated 10/11/11
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It's always a little weird coming back from vacation in the NFL... the team you're matched up with was still working...and is very angry...

That's the Houston Texans... coming off a tough loss to Oakland. Matt Schaub had a bad day... but don't forget, this is the guy who pumped up 393 yards and 2 TD's against the Ravens last year...


Do not underestimate this cat, Ravens fans... Matt Schaub (6-5, 241, Virginia, 3rd-round pick by Atlanta in 2004) has come into his own...good vision and recognition of defenses... he will be a severe test for the Ravens defense which is coming off a Bye...

Schaub suffered a tough ending in the Texans’ 25-20 loss to Oakland.With Houston coming up, let’s see what Van Valkenburg envisions for Sunday’s contest.

Schaub was orchestrating a come-from-behind drive when he threw an interception on the last play of the game. “Only a couple ticks remained on the clock Sunday when Schaub had to make a fateful decision: Attempt to scramble for the winning touchdown as the final gun went off, which he didn’t think he could do, or sneak a needle-threading pass into the hands of the covered Jacoby Jones, which he failed to do,” wrote the Houston Chronicle’s Dale Robertson.

“Raiders safety Michael Huff stepped in front of Jones and made an easy pick. Game over.”

Despite finishing with 416 yards, Schaub had taken a beating most of the afternoon, which seemed to take a toll on his accuracy. He had 27 incompletions. Fans and media in Houston are already questioning Schaub’s decision to pass instead of running when a path to the end zone appeared to be open.

Two Texans players could miss Sunday’s matchup against the Ravens.

All Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson is already expected to be absent with an injured hamstring, and now it looks like they’ve lost outside linebacker Mario Williams and fullback James Casey for “a significant period of time,” reports the Houston Chronicle.

Williams and Casey suffered torn pectoral muscles, and the extent of damage will be assessed today when they undergo MRIs. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Williams will be out “indefinitely” if not for the remainder of the season.

One play after recording his fifth sack of the season in the first quarter, Williams sustained his injury and came running off the field hardly moving his arms. He never returned.Both Williams and Johnson are what the Chronicle called “possibly irreplaceable players” that are “arguably the best on the roster on either side of the ball.” If Williams does not play, the Ravens may have a better chance of keeping quarterback Joe Flacco upright and give him time to find receivers. The Texans’ top pass rusher didn’t record a sack or tackle in last year’s battle with the Ravens, but Flacco was sacked five times.

Without Houston’s go-to star on offense, the Oakland Raiders altered the Texans’ identity. Houston’s offensive line couldn’t control the line of scrimmage and the Raiders didn’t respect the passing game with Johnson out. Oakland stacked the box to stop last year’s rushing leader Arian Foster. “The running game is the lifeblood of the offense,” wrote the Chronicle’s John McClain.  ”With Foster getting stuffed for too many 2-yard gains because the Raiders refused to let him cut back and explode through the hole, Schaub was forced to pass.

“They were staying in the box,” Foster told reporters. “When you have eight guys in the box, nine sometimes, it’s hard to impose your will on them.”

That may be the clue to the Ravens controlling the upcoming game against the Texans.

The Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg projected the best and worst-case scenarios for each of the Ravens’ remaining games of the season.

Best-case scenario: “We already know Andre Johnson will miss this game with an injury, which takes away the biggest advantage Houston might have had against the Ravens’ shaky secondary. Free to continue with their blitz-happy ways, the Ravens shut down Arian Foster and batter Matt Schaub, forcing a pair of turnovers. In doing so, they keep the pressure off an offensive unit that’s still finding its way, and Baltimore wins, 28-14, in front of a rabid crowd singing along to Seven Nation Army.

Worst-case scenario: “Anticipating a series of blitzes, the Texans put Schaub in the shotgun and call a series of quick routes and quick throws. Jimmy Smith isn’t healthy yet, and Ravens linebackers can’t run with Foster, leading to a shootout. Flacco continues to look like a man casting a thousand-yard stare, and the Ravens are upset, 31-24.”

As always in the NFL, you never know what you're going to get... but coming back from a Bye week, the Ravens at least know they are facing a team that is wounded... and can prepare accordingly.  And that also means--- beware the cornered, wounded animal. That is when the opponent is at its most dangerous.

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