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By Matt Vensel | September 19, 2013
Arian Foster's numbers speak for themselves. From 2010 to 2012, the Houston Texans running back rushed for 4,264 yards. He took 41 hand-offs to the house. He was All-Pro three times. Went to three Pro Bowls, too. Foster is a talented back, no doubt, with soft hands and surprising burst for a man his size. But what truly makes him special is how well he fits in the zone-blocking scheme the Texans have used since 2008, when Texans coach Gary Kubiak hired Alex Gibbs, who coached the offensive line when the Denver Broncos won two Super Bowls in the 1990s.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2013
Now that the NFL season is here, I'm putting a twist on my weekly Blogger on Blogger series. Each week, I hope to enlist a blogger who regularly writes about the Ravens' opponent to help me break down the game. This week, I exchanged emails with Stephanie Stradley, who blogs about the Houston Texans for Ultimate Texans . MV: J.J. Watt was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, recording a ridiculous number of sacks for a player who is predominantly a defensive end in a 3-4 front.
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October 18, 2012
Kevin Cowherd Texans 24, Ravens 21 The Texans will be fired up after being blown out by Green Bay on national TV. The Ravens' defense was having trouble stopping the run before losing Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, which means Arian Foster is already practicing that goofy bow he does after scoring a touchdown. He says it's about showing respect to the game of football. Whatever, the Ravens might see it a few times. Edward Lee Texans 21, Ravens 14 Matt Schaub is a statue in the pocket, and Houston's special teams have been anything but. But Arian Foster will take pressure off of Schaub and take advantage of the hole in the middle of the Ravens defense caused by the season-ending triceps injury to inside linebacker Ray Lewis.
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The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2013
Monique Jones Texans 28, Ravens 14 The Ravens may need a couple of more weeks to get everyone on the same page. As a result, the Texans take advantage and leave M&T Bank Stadium with their first win in Baltimore. Mike Preston Texans 27, Ravens 21 The Ravens are still struggling to find the right chemistry while the Texans already have an identity on both offense and defense, and are simply picking up from where they left off last season. Peter Schmuck Texans 23, Ravens 16 With Ray Rice banged up and Joe Flacco just getting into sync with his receivers, this is a bad time to face the Texans and that nasty defensive line.
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By Edward Lee | October 17, 2012
The Ravens confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the team practiced without three defensive starters in defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu and cornerback Jimmy Smith. Ngata suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee and an injured right shoulder in the Sunday's 31-29 win against the Dallas Cowboys. Kemoeatu is also dealing with a right knee injury, and Smith injured his groin Sunday. Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie participated on a limited basis due to a thigh injury.
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September 24, 2012
Cardinals, Browns Dan Pompei Chicago Tribune I never thought I'd be writing this, but the team that might remain unblemished the longest could be the Cardinals. Their 3-0 record is more impressive than the 3-0 records of the Falcons and Texans because the Cardinals have beaten better teams — the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles. And the Cardinals should be heavy favorites in at least their next three games, against the Dolphins, Rams and Vikings. The team that could be the last remaining team without a win is the Browns.
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September 3, 2012
Healthy Chiefs dangerous Dan Pompei Chicago Tribune The playoff field in the AFC is going to include a lot of familiar teams from last year — with one notable exception. The Chiefs could go from worst to first in the AFC West. They were a team that was demolished by injuries last year, and they still won three of their last five games. With some better health this season, the Chiefs could be the NFL's surprise team. The returns of Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry should bolster this team, and new coach Romeo Crennel should push the right buttons.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2012
Whenever Ravens running back Ray Rice carries the football or catches passes Sunday, Arian Foster intends to keep a close watch. And it's not because the Houston Texans' star is required to observe his counterpart when he's on the sideline at Reliant Stadium. It's because Foster simply wants to. He would hate to miss a glimpse of a relatively rare breed in NFL circles: a fellow cutting-edge, all-purpose runner. "Ray's obviously one of the best in the game today," said Foster, who like Rice is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
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By Matt Vensel | October 19, 2012
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he'll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too. RUNNING IT BACK There is a chance that linebacker Terrell Suggs could play Sunday , though there is little reason for the Ravens to rush him back . … Mike Preston says the Ravens defense stinks right now . … Offensive lineman Ramon Harewood is disappointed by his demotion . … Three defensive starters, including Haloti Ngata, returned to practice on Thursday . … Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has a lot of admiration for Ray Rice . … The Ravens would benefit if Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph misses Sunday's game . RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US Is Ray Lewis the best defensive player of all time ?
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By Matt Vensel | December 28, 2011
Because doing a full, 32-team list of power rankings is too much work, I rank the top 11 teams in the NFL after each exciting football weekend (that's where the "first and 10" comes in). I was off on Monday, so here are my belated but still timely rankings heading into the final week of the regular season: 1. Packers: They've put up at least 30 points in 10 of their 15 games and 40 in five of them. 2. Saints: I guess they forgot they still had another game for Drew Brees to chase Dan Marino's mark.
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By Matt Vensel | September 19, 2013
Arian Foster's numbers speak for themselves. From 2010 to 2012, the Houston Texans running back rushed for 4,264 yards. He took 41 hand-offs to the house. He was All-Pro three times. Went to three Pro Bowls, too. Foster is a talented back, no doubt, with soft hands and surprising burst for a man his size. But what truly makes him special is how well he fits in the zone-blocking scheme the Texans have used since 2008, when Texans coach Gary Kubiak hired Alex Gibbs, who coached the offensive line when the Denver Broncos won two Super Bowls in the 1990s.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | June 24, 2013
In eager anticipation of the 2013 NFL season, Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will take a daily look at one of the 13 opponents on the Ravens' regular-season schedule. Today is the Houston Texans . The Week 3 matchup between the Ravens and Houston Texans will be one of the most-anticipated games on the team's 2013 schedule, and it's not just because it is an early AFC showdown or because the Ravens will be looking to make a statement after the Texans embarrassed them last season.
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By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | November 10, 2012
Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee simultaneously furrowed his brow, shook his head and frowned. It was a telling reaction triggered by McPhee recounting instances of how the defense has consistently failed to stop the run this season, a bizarre departure from a traditional hallmark of the reigning AFC North champions. "We're real disappointed," McPhee said. "It's about the name that the Baltimore Ravens holds, and we aren't playing that kind of defense, especially run defense.
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By Matt Vensel | October 24, 2012
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens. 27.8 -- Joe Flacco's completion percentage on pass attempts of 5 yards or longer in Sunday's 43-13 loss. Quarterback Joe Flacco has evolved as a downfield passer this season, and the Ravens entered Sunday's game against the Houston Texans with more passing plays of 20 or more yards than any team in the NFL. But the explosive passing game fizzled out against the Texans, who disrupted the offense with press coverage and consistent pressure up front.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | October 20, 2012
The Houston Texans lost their top tackler two weeks ago when middle linebacker Brian Cushing went down with a season-ending knee injury. A week later, they were embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers, 42-24, on their home field as Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes, the Texans couldn't run the football and their special teams faltered. Earlier that day, the Ravens outlasted the mistake-prone Dallas Cowboys, 31-29. In the process, they lost their leading tackler (Ray Lewis) and best cornerback (Lardarius Webb)
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By Matt Vensel | October 19, 2012
The Ravens offense isn't the only one that needs to get off to a fast start in the first half of Sunday's game. Obviously, every team wants to get an early lead, but scoring early will be just as important for a Houston Texans offense that is built to hold a big lead, not erase one. The Texans have one of the most balanced offenses in the league, but they want to get a lead, pound the ball on the ground with running backs Arian Foster and Ben...
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By Matt Vensel | January 2, 2012
Because doing a full, 32-team list of power rankings is too much work for a Monday afternoon, I will rank the top 11 teams in the NFL after each exciting football Sunday (that's where the "first and 10" comes in). Here is how I rank them heading into the playoffs (with an intriguing slate of four wild-card games starting Saturday): 1. Green Bay: Matt Flynn passed his way past some big names in the Packers record book Sunday. A backup throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns shows just how stacked the Pack is. They look poised to repeat.
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By Matt Vensel | October 19, 2012
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he'll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too. RUNNING IT BACK There is a chance that linebacker Terrell Suggs could play Sunday , though there is little reason for the Ravens to rush him back . … Mike Preston says the Ravens defense stinks right now . … Offensive lineman Ramon Harewood is disappointed by his demotion . … Three defensive starters, including Haloti Ngata, returned to practice on Thursday . … Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has a lot of admiration for Ray Rice . … The Ravens would benefit if Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph misses Sunday's game . RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US Is Ray Lewis the best defensive player of all time ?
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