Ravens QB Joe Flacco can get Baltimore a playoff berth with a win today and a win against the Browns next week – a loss would be devastating.
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The Baltimore Ravens fight for a chance to return to the playoffs but must go through the Houston Texans first in Week 16 of the NFL season.
With a 9-5 record the Ravens control their own destiny in the AFC playoff picture. If they win out they will be in the playoffs regardless of any other scenarios. However, if the Steelers and Bengals lose this weekend the Ravens will clinch a spot this very weekend. QB Joe Flacco is on pace for a career high in TD passes and could set a new career low in INT% if he can stay mistake free, but the story of the season is the resurgence of RB Justin Forsett, who has set career highs with 1,128 rushing yards and 8 TDs – both in the top five in the NFL. Great performances by both of those players today will go a long way in getting the Ravens to the playoffs.
Despite recovering from last year’s 2-14 record to make it to 7-7, the Texans have been ravaged by injuries, especially to several QBs and No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans next man up – their 4th starting QB of the season – will be Case Keenum, who started and lost eight games for the Texans in 2013. Keenum was a star back at the University of Houston in college, but has struggled in the NFL. Nonetheless, the Texans need Keenum to win this game to keep their fragile playoff hopes alive.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens – The Texans may have the better defense, but that offense is a liability. QB Case Keenum has never won an NFL game and he won’t get that first NFL win this week – unless, of course, the defense (particularly J. J. Watt) can make some really big impact turnovers.