Matt Schaub is poised for a return to form.
After a humiliating loss to the 3-3 Green Bay Packers last Sunday, Schaub now leads the 5-1 Houston Texans into the premier NFL Week Seven showdown with the 5-1 Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, 21 October, at 12noon Cayman time on CBS.
Prior to the Green Bay thrashing, Schaub had done well to utilize weapons like running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Baltimore meanwhile have excelled behind hurler Joe Flacco and back Ray Rice.
Defence should be the deciding factor on Sunday. Houston sits sixth in the league while Baltimore are ranked just 26th. Injuries have crippled the Ravens with Ray Lewis (out for the season with torn triceps) and Terrell Suggs (recovering from tearing an Achilles tendon) both sidelined.
If the Baltimore defence was 100 per cent, they would be favoured by eight points. But, with Houston poised to wear down tacklers with a sixth-ranked rushing attack, the Texans should win by a field goal.
Sunday’s other intriguing games see the 3-3 New York Jets battling the 3-3 New England Patriots at 3.25pm on CBS with the 2-3 Pittsburgh Steelers facing the 3-3 Cincinnati Bengals at 7.20pm on NBC.
Tom Brady’s top-rated offence has stumbled in recent weeks and while the Jets are an inferior team, the time is ripe for Mark Sanchez and company to pull off a six-point upset.
Andy Dalton has held his own in the pocket for Cincy but, thanks to an inspired defensive showing from Pittsburgh, the Bengals figure to lose by a touchdown.
Be sure to check out the 4-2 Seattle Seahawks facing the 4-2 San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, 18 October, at 7.20pm on NFL Network. While Alex Smith’s Niners are slated to win by 10 points, it will be interesting to see two top defences slug it out.