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Houston Texans have gut check vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Houston Texans suddenly have a lot to play for in Week 7. Last week's blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers raised questions about their 5-0 start. Those opponents have a combined 12-17 record and none hold a winning record.

Not only is it a bounce-back week, but the Texans are looking to defy history by posting their first franchise victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

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"A lot of things play into the game this week," Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown told the Houston Chronicle's John McClain. "You want to win, no matter who it is. We really want to get the upper hand this year."

This is the Texans' chance to make a statement. The Ravens are wounded with linebacker Ray Lewis (triceps) and cornerback Ladarius Webb (anterior cruciate ligament) out for the season. Linebacker Terrell Suggs probably will return from a torn Achilles tendon, but it will be his first action of 2012. Safety Ed Reed is playing with a torn labrum. The Ravens defense also seems to miss linebacker Jarret Johnson and defensive lineman Cory Redding, who left via free agency.

The Texans are the team with the top-10 defense. And quarterback Matt Schaub and running back Arian Foster are more than capable of outperforming Ravens counterparts Joe Flacco and Ray Rice.

But that 5-0 start and all the early Super Bowl talk will mean much less if the Texans fall to 0-7 against the Ravens.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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