The Houston Texans proved against the Cleveland Browns that they don't have a hard time scoring points against elite defenses. Especially elite pass-rushing defenses. The Browns were picked apart piece by piece, by the Texans and now, the Ravens are in town. A team very similar to the Cleveland Browns. Yet, the Ravens have shown nothing on defense to make anyone truly believe they're better prepared for the Texans offense.
They are good, absolutely, but they aren't so much better (if at all) than the Browns that the Texans faithful should be worried. This is a team built around the scheme, not talent, while the Browns were talented in a good scheme. Without the scheme, the Ravens fail, without the talent, the Browns fail.
The Ravens aren't a pack of slouches, don't misconstrue what's being said. They will show up and get after the Texans. They're going to have to, the Texans are a great passing team and the only hope for the Ravens' defense is their ability to get to the quarterback. They had 60 sacks this season as a squad, 11 more than Cleveland had.
But while the Browns had Myles Garrett and a crop of good talent around him, the Ravens' three best pass rushers, aren't known as great pass rushers, historically. Good, sure, but not great.
They have Justin Madubuike leading the team in sacks with 13, a fourth-year defensive tackle who had eight combined sacks across his previous three seasons combined. Is he a one-hit wonder or the jump to superstar production?
Time will tell.
The other two men are journeymen at this point. Former Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and former Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy; were both men with nine sacks. Clowney, who has 9.5 sacks, failed once again to hit the double-digit sack mark. A mark he's never hit in his career. Same with Van Noy. Both men have bounced around the league as of late, and while they're still a threat, none of the three are on Myles Garrett's level, and even Garrett isn't the elite of the elite this league has to offer.
This is not as talented a group of pass rushers as the Browns, but they have a better scheme. That means the Texans can't just key on one or two guys but on three or four. They'll have to take the entire defense into deep waters, make the Ravens fight to stay afloat, and tire them out. They have to run the ball efficiently and match the Ravens' time of possession, or exceed it.
It's really the only way to combat the brutal defense the Ravens are going to throw at you. You can try to get them off the field fast, but so many have done that and failed. Instead, break the defense. Try and expose them, and make the Ravens play faster on offense than they may want to.