This marks the
During their first game without Cushing last week, the Texans lost, 42-24, to the
"Obviously, Cushing, he's such a huge presence," Ravens
The Texans have
Cushing had 43 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in the first five games.
The former USC standout ranks fourth on the Texans' all-time tackles list with 366 tackles in four
"The other linebackers, no knock on them, they're filling in great, but you can't think you can replace a guy like Cushing right away," Rice said. "Because what Wade Phillips has done with that defense is essentially built around him doing what he had to do."
The Packers piled up 25 first downs and 427 yards of total offense against the Texans last week.
"Everybody has them games where a team just has their number," Rice said. "Green Bay came in with a great game plan and executed it. That's not to say they won't show up ready to play on Sunday."
This is a pivotal game Sunday considering that it may determine home-field advantage for the
"We know where we're at in the AFC," Rice said. "This game basically puts us at the top and everybody else two or three games behind."
Formulated by general manager Rick Smith, the Texans' front seven is headlined by dominant defensive lineman
The Texans also have athletic, aggressive personnel in outside linebackers
"Their front seven is cream of the crop in the league," Rice said. "I knew that last year after our playoff game, what they were building. And that's something that they've been building over the years. They have everything over there. Those guys will be ready to play on Sunday."
The Ravens (5-1) have never lost to the Texans (5-1), winning all six of their previous meetings, including the AFC divisional playoff game in Baltimore last year.
However, the Texans are favored to win Sunday's game at
"It's sort of like that
"Nobody is looking at the Houston Texans anymore on their schedule and saying, 'Oh shoot, we've got an easy game. You look at the Houston Texans and you know you're in for a fight."