Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET
It’s not easy to shut another team out in the NFL. There have been only seven shutouts in the league this entire season.
The Baltimore Ravens have three of them.
The Ravens are in rarified air with those shutouts. Only five teams in the past 30 years had at least three shutouts in a season, according to ESPN Stats and Information: 1991 Redskins, 2000 Ravens, 2001 49ers, 2003 Patriots and this Ravens team. Three of the first four won a Super Bowl.
How about a fourth on Monday night? It doesn’t seem impossible against a Houston Texans team that has struggled at times on offense since quarterback Deshaun Watson’s injury. Just getting to three shutouts in a season is pretty amazing, though.
“It’s crazy, right?” safety Eric Weddle said, according to the Ravens’ web site. “It so rarely happens. In my 11 years, I think I can count on one hand how many shutouts I’ve been a part of. And three this season. A lot goes into it.”
The Ravens’ first shutout came in Week 1, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Then on Oct. 26 they shut out the Miami Dolphins. Last week, they shut out the Green Bay Packers. The final two shutouts came against backup quarterbacks Matt Moore and Brett Hundley, but there are plenty of backup quarterbacks playing and very few shutouts each week. It’s hard to shut a team out no matter who the opponent is.
The defense has helped keep the Ravens in position to make the playoffs. They’re 5-5 and in the mix with many other teams for the final wild-card spot in the AFC. The Ravens’ defense isn’t the best in football (that goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are better than the Ravens in just about every measure), but the defense might be good enough to carry a below-average offense to the postseason.
The Ravens can’t afford a loss to a 4-6 Texans team if they want to get a wild-card spot. If nothing else, Baltimore can count on its defense showing up on Monday night.
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