There was plenty of news made by both teams in the offseason for different reasons.
Houston took quarterback C.J. Stroud with the second overall pick and then traded up to select Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson with the No. 3 selection.
There was plenty of drama surrounding the future of quarterback and former Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson. He did become the NFL’s highest-paid player while serving as his own agent. The Ravens made an effort to improve the quality of the pass catchers for Jackson to throw to in 2023.
Baltimore has won 9 of the 11 meetings against the Texans and that includes each of the last three matchups by 7, 34 and 17 points.
Baltimore has been favored in eight of the last nine meetings with Houston and is a 10-point favorite in the Sept. 10 meeting, which is the only double-digit point spread among the Week 1 games.
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh has 147 career regular-season wins, all with the Ravens. Since he was hired by the Ravens in 2008, Houston has had six different head coaches and that number will grow to seven as DeMeco Ryans debuts in Week 1.
The Ravens (+2000) are tied for eighth in the current odds to win the Super Bowl. Houston (+15000) is tied with the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts for the longest odds to win the Super Bowl. Baltimore (+250) is second only behind the Cincinnati Bengals in the odds to win the AFC North Division title. Houston (+725) is picked last in the AFC South Division odds.
What’s Changed for the Texans and Ravens in 2023?
Obviously, the changes begin with the arrival of Stroud and Anderson as the Texans added potential franchise-changing players on both sides of the ball. The trade for Anderson was rather pricey with Houston sending a 2024 first-round pick to Arizona.
There was also a change at the top with former Texans linebacker Ryans returning to the team that drafted him in 2006 out of Alabama following the firing of Lovie Smith.
Former Houston Cougars receiver Nathaniel Dell also was picked in the draft. Devin Singletary comes over from the Buffalo Bills to team with second-year running back Dameon Pierce.
Receivers Noah Brown and Robert Woods as well as former Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz are other key acquisitions for an offense that had the second-fewest yards in the NFL in 2022. Offensive lineman Shaq Mason is another of the veteran arrivals.
Receiver Brandin Cooks leads the list of departing players on offense with safety Jonathan Owens, defensive ends Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Rasheem Green have also headed elsewhere.
Baltimore will look much different at the receiver position without veterans Demarcus Robinson, Desean Jackson and Sammy Watkins. Odell Beckham Jr., Andy Isabella and Nelson Agholor have joined the Ravens and a first-round pick Zay Flowers will give Jackson more pass-catching options.
The defense lost safety and second-leading tackler Chuck Clark but did add former Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson in the draft. The majority of the defense does return for the Ravens.
Texans vs Ravens: Where Each Team Has the Edge
With Jackson back and no timetable set for when Stroud will take over at QB for Houston, give one major check mark at the quarterback position to Baltimore.
Houston’s success moving forward is going to be determined by how the draft picks work. Houston saw safety Jalen Pitre, linebacker Christian Harris and cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. play key roles as rookies and more reinforcements are coming this season.
Still, it would be difficult to find a position where the Texans are better than the Ravens, at least at the current time.
The running back position might be the closest with Singletary joining Pierce while the Ravens J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
Baltimore returns Mark Andrews at tight end. Houston can counter with Schultz, a productive pass catcher during his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
Houston held onto veteran offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil so the left tackle position could be one where the Texans have the edge.
Fun facts about the Houston Texans
- Houston failed to make the playoffs in its first nine seasons since joining the NFL in 2002. That was followed by six postseason appearances in a span of nine seasons. The Texans have never made it past the divisional round of the playoffs.
- After failing to have a first-round pick in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, Houston had four picks in the first round in the last two drafts and that includes three in the top five.
- The Texans have won 11 games over the last three seasons and that is the lowest three-year total in franchise history.
Fun facts about the Baltimore Ravens
- The Ravens moved from Cleveland before the 1996 season and the first winning season came in 2000, one that culminated in a Super Bowl title. The Ravens also won the Super Bowl in 2012. Since then, Baltimore is 2-5 in the postseason.
- The Ravens have finished first or second in the AFC North 11 times in the last 15 seasons.
- Since Stephen Biscotti bought the Ravens in 2004, the franchise value has gone from $776M to $3,900B as of 2022.