Late for Work 9/18: Pundits Near Unanimous in Ravens vs. Texans Picks –

Pundits Near Unanimous in Ravens vs. Texans Picks

What was expected to be a shootout between the Ravens and Texans last season ended up being a rout, as Baltimore thumped the visiting Texans, 41-7.

The prognosticators are nearly unanimous in their belief that the Ravens (1-0) will win again when they visit Houston (0-1) Sunday. In looking at predictions for the game, 44 of 46 pundits picked Baltimore.

While none of the 24 pundits who predicted the score have the Ravens winning by as wide a margin as they did last year, 15 have Baltimore prevailing by double digits.

That probably says more about how dominant the Ravens have been than it does about the defending AFC South champion Texans, a talented team led by dynamic quarterback Deshaun Watson. Baltimore has won 13 consecutive regular-season games, and the majority weren’t close.

Here’s a sample of what pundits are saying about the game:

The Texans are always a dangerous opponent because of Watson, but the Ravens are the better team.

The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker: “The Texans can’t be taken lightly as long as they have Watson creating something from nothing at the most important position on the field. But the Houston defense could not stop the Ravens last season and could not stop the Chiefs in Week 1. The Ravens need to improve their run blocking to operate at peak efficiency, but they simply have more ways to win on both sides of the ball.”

The Texans will not be able to slow the Ravens offense.’s Gregg Rosenthal: “Their expensive inside linebackers (Zach Cunningham and Benardrick McKinney) won’t be able to cover Baltimore’s backs and tight ends, and it’s hard to imagine Houston’s pass rush getting to Lamar Jackson, who’s fresh off perhaps the best throwing day of his career. Yes, he’s getting better.”

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: “Houston may try to take away the deep ball like it did against [Patrick] Mahomes and Kansas City, but it would be asking to be pounded and worn down by ball control with rookie J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram supplementing Jackson on the ground.”

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio: “No answer for Lamar Jackson. Lamar Jackson spreading the ball around to guys like Miles Boykin, Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews. The running game with J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram. I just think it’s more than what the Texans can handle. It’s just going to be one of those gradual smotherings.”