Last year I predicted the Ravens would walk into Reliant Stadium and take a “W” away from the Texans. That did not happen – by a large margin – and I rightfully took endless amounts of flak. This afternoon the underdog Ravens returned the favor by knocking the Texans off of their 2-0 perch. Therefore I feel compelled to provide some instant analysis.
We will start with the negatives. First, the Ravens obviously missed Ray Rice. With 75 yards total rushing, many of which came during trash time, the Ravens needed their premier rusher in the lineup as well as better run blocking. Next, the men in purple and black need to cut down on penalties. It’s not often that a team can commit 10 penalties for 87 yards and still win the game. Thankfully, the Texans won this statistic by committing 14 penalties for 113 yards.
The only reason the Ravens were able to stay in this game – and ultimately win it – was the performance of their defense. As predicted, the Ravens blunted the Texans running game by holding Foster and Tate to less than 100 yards. Additionally, the squad shut down Owens, the prolific Texans TE. These actions allowed the Ravens to hold the Texans to a grand total of 9 points (all from field goals). And let’s not forget Smith’s interception return for a touchdown.
As a final point, I predicted that Tandon Doss would have an impact in the Ravens’ short passing game. I was wrong, but he did have a measurable impact with his punt return for a touchdown. I’ll take that kind of error.
The Ravens hit the road next week to meet the Buffalo Bills. If they can improve their run blocking and reduce penalties they should be able to walk out of the great white north with their third win of the season.