Here's your open thread for all of today's action.
Quick thoughts on Texans-Ravens:
This one is going to come down to the Texans' ability to establish their run - particularly the outside zone - and get after Joe Flacco. Asking Yates to win in for you on the road against the league's top pass defense is a tall, tall order - Houston needs to lean on Foster and let Yates get his feet under him with some easy boots and play action throws. The Texans have the superior OL, and their best bet will be stretching out right behind Eric Winston where the Ravens' run D is a little weaker. Winston and Duane Brown are quality tackles who can keep Terrell Suggs from single-handedly wrecking the game plan, but the interior OL will have to stay alert for emerging pass rusher Pernell McPhee. The best one on one matchup in the pass game will definitely be Andre Johnson against any of the Ravens' smaller corners, but hopefully Kubiak has had a heart to heart with Yates about knowing where Ed Reed is before uncorking any throws downfield.
On the other side of the ball, Texans fans can take heart in the fact that Ravens fans have to be nervous about their QB. Flacco is the ultimate 'box of chocolates' QB in the league - you never know what you're going to get. He's been better at home, but he's a threat to shit himself at any opportunity and the Texans can encourage that trait with a strong pass rush. The weakness of the Ravens OL is at the tackle spots, so if Houston can get Barwin, Antonio Smith and JJ Watt in some one on one matchups with those tackles they have a good shot to rattle Flacco. DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing need to be ready to strap it on and stop stud RB Ray Rice - he'll work to exploit the softness of Antonio Smith and Shaun Cody on the interior and is always scary catching out of the backfield. My other worry as a Texans fan would be any shots that Flacco gets to take downfield against speedburner Torrey Smith if he ends up with Kareem Jackson in coverage - I'd do everything possible to avoid that matchup if I'm Wade Phillips.
Ultimately I think this one will be a fairly low-scoring slugfest - I think the Ravens take a close one, though I'd likely be taking the Texans if this one was at Reliant.
Quick Thoughts on Packers-Giants:
Fuck Brandon Jacobs.
Fuck Eli Manning.