NFL Divisional Weekend | CJ Stroud and Texans can push Ravens in Baltimore

NFL, CJ Stroud,

Six down, eight to go. Is CJ Stroud ready to shake up the Super Bowl picture?

After Super Wild Card Weekend saw the surprise exit of the Dallas Cowboys and the downward-spiralling Philadelphia Eagles, it’s Divisional Weekend time.

As Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes travel to Orchard Park to face the Bills in a mouth-watering closing act, to begin the weekend, the number one seed Baltimore Ravens step up to the plate.

Their opponents, the Houston Texans are the sizeable 7/2 underdogs in Maryland on Saturday.

However, like the Green Bay Packers last time out with Jordan Love, their own young rookie QB Stroud, is ready to re-write the script.

CJ Stroud-Collins key

After dismantling the Cleveland Browns in Houston last weekend, the Texans are rolling.

DeMeco Ryans could go a long way to being named NFL Coach of the Season with a second playoff win on the spin.

However, against the top seeds at M&T Bank Stadium, that is easier said than done.

Yet, in CJ Stroud and Nico Collins, the Lone State stars boast one of the hottest duos around right now.

Only last weekend Stroud became the youngest-ever QB to win a playoff game.

Meanwhile, in WR Collins, the Michigan collegiate notched 96 yards in rolling Cleveland. That, after dropping narrowly short of 200 receiving yds against the Colts of the final day of the season,

The chemistry between Collins and Stroud is indisputable; the Ravens’ flock must be prepared.


The best D-Line

The Texans’ task this weekend is to circumnavigate the best defense in the NFL this term.

Indeed, the Ravens conceded the fewest points per game this season.

Arguably, Baltimore are the biggest favourites this weekend.

But, as Roquan Smith told the media earlier this week when posed whether his team was under pressure in Baltimore, the inside linebacker retorted:

“Pressure? I don’t feel pressure at all but some do say pressure burst pipes and makes diamonds and you know a lot of guys in there like diamonds.”

And I’d say we’re in a diamond-making business at the end of the day”.


In turn, the Texans could point to busting up Cleveland, one of the best defenses in the final weeks of the season.

Notwithstanding, the Ravens are very much on for a third Super Bowl since the turn of the millennium.


Andrews back for Lamar?

As the Ravens return to action after their bye week, Lamar Jackson goes back to work.

The now outstanding favourite for MVP after his 5-TD showing against the Dolphins in Miami in Week 17 is ready to shine.

Despite being only 14th in passing yds this season, Jackson has been unmatched in the pocket this term.

Ahead of the weekend, their offense has also been boosted twice-fold.

Potentially, Jackson could have TE Mark Andrews after a cracked fibula to tag with Isaiah Likely, whilst waiver signing RB Dalvin Cook jumps to the active roster.

The Floridian’s fresh legs may prove vital, with Gus Edwards only rushing 50+ yds four times in the last nine weeks of the regular season.



Backing Houston to take down the Ravens on home turf looks a tall task.

However, the Texans appear capable of scoring points at any moment.

Therefore, a +7.5 Texans punt at 11/10 with 888sport has chances.

When the two sides met on opening week of this season, a rusty Lamar Jackson threw just 167 yds, whilst CJ Stroud – on NFL debut – put up 249 yds.

Stroud is likely to be gunning the field, whilst Jackson will mix up running the football with the throw.

The Texans’ QB may notch the greater numbers, and 239+ yds looks a good bet, with those bolder opting for 300+ at 16/5, both with William Hill.

For Jackson, finally, scrimmage yds is the sensible move at 285+ passing AND rushing yds for 17/20 with BetUK.


The Baltimore Ravens host the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland, during Divisional Weekend, Saturday, 21:30 GMT/4:30 ET .

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