Coming off of a much needed win at home against the Cleveland Browns the Ravens hosted the Houston Texans for their week 3 affair. The game started much like the Browns game. The Ravens fell behind early 6-0 after holding the Texans to field goals on their first two scores. The Ravens would end up kicking a field goal to make it 6-3 before they piled on two touchdowns, one coming off of an interception return for a touchdown, and the other coming off of an 82-yard punt return by Tandon Doss. The Ravens would continue to pour on points, mostly field goals, and hold the Texans offense at bay throughout the whole game. This was also a emotional game for the Ravens. Ed Reed returned home and played a pretty good game and Ray Lewis was inducted into the Raven’s Ring of Honor.
- Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith continue to have good games. Smith caught for 92-yards but still has not anaged to find the endzone. When the Ravens were terribly desperate for offense Flacco turned to Smith to get things going and the ball moving. It was two big completions to Torrey Smith on the opening drive of the second half that put the Ravens into position to put the ball in the endzone with Bernard Pierce.
- Baltimore did not turn the ball over on offense.
- Some love to the offensive line as well. Marshal Yanda handled JJ Watt pretty well yesterday. Watt only had 1 sack and no deflected passes. The rest of the offensive line played really well as well. The Texans only managed to get to Joe Flacco twice all game. Keeping your quarterback upright is a good recipe for a W.
- The offense still needs a lot of work. Despite the team finding ways to win, the offense needs to start clicking soon. The first half was abysmal. The Ravens put up less than 100-yards of total offense.
- Bernard Pierce, until a 25-yard run in the 3rd, was held to 24 yards on 17 carries. The Ravens need to get their running game going. If Rice come back next week against Buffalo the Ravens are going to have to get things going on the ground. Their running game is an embarrassing 25th in the league. Now that might be okay if their passing game was really good, but their passing game is ranked 20th in the league. I dont know how much longer they can hold out if their offense continues to struggle.
- Flacco had no touchdowns and only managed 171-yards passing.
- Daryl Smith continues to impress. He returned an interception for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter to get the Ravens their first touchdown of the day. He also lead the team in total tackles with 10.
- The Ravens defense has not allowed a touchdown in 8 quarters of football. This is a big reason why the Ravens are winning football games. They’ve allowed field goals close to their own endzone and the defense has been bending, but not breaking.
- Matt Elam played really well in his first start after taking over for Michael Huff. He didnt get beat on any big plays, and managed to have one pass defended very well.
- Jimmy Smith, and the rest of the secondary, looked really good too actually. I’m going to focus on Smith, because it seemed like the Texans were trying to pick on him for most of the game. He stayed poised and didnt allow any big plays behind him.
- The Ravens also managed to get to the quarterback three times in this game. Suggs, Jones and Ngata respectively. The pass rush is looking fierce over the last 3 games and I think that is one aspect of our defense that is going to win us a couple of games. The Ravens also had 9 tackles for loss.
- Not too many that I can think of. They didnt allow a touchdown and contained the run pretty well. They handled Texas’ explosive offense and held them to Field Goals. Before this game Houston was averaging 30.5 points per game and had a defense that was playing really well. The only real complaint that I have as that we’re not forcing as many turnovers as we’re used to from Ravens defenses in the past.
- Justin Tucker is back on track with 3/3 field goals, his longest of the day being from 45-yards out.
- Tandon Doss had the big play of the game for the Baltimore Ravens with a huge 82-yard punt return for a touchdown. This really gave the Ravens momentum going into the second half. They came out at halftime, scored on a really nice drive, and controlled the game from there.
Overall the Ravens played a really good game at home against one of the best teams in the AFC right now. The Texans are a team that put up a lot of points and play pretty good defense. The Ravens did the big thing of containing JJ Watt and controlling the tempo of the game. They played fantastic on defense and capitalized on Houston’s mistakes when they made them. I think the two keys to this Ravens win was defense and capitalizing on the Houston mistakes and turning them into points.
Next week the Ravens take on the 1-2 Bills. Most people might think this is going to be an easy road win, but I wouldnt count the Bills out of the game just yet. The Bills have a lot of talent young players on the team and if they knew how to close out games they could very well be a 3-0 team. I’m going to be going to the game next weekend because I live in Buffalo and this opportunity only comes around every 8 years or so. All I know is that EJ Manuel was sacked 8 times against the Jets and I believe the Ravens have a better pass-rush than the Jets. Hopefully this is going to be a really exciting game for a Ravens fan to watch in The Ralph.