RAVENS – 13
TEXANS – 43
Sunday afternoon at Reliant Stadium was not a pretty one for the Baltimore Ravens. The Houston Texans dominated in every facet of the game and are now standing alone atop the AFC standings. Houston took it to the Ravens in the running game, the passing game, on defense, virtually every aspect of the game the Texans were better than the Ravens and the 43-13 score reflects that.
Baltimore came into Sunday’s game with an emotional boost in the way of Terrell Suggs, but unfortunately it was not enough. While it only took Suggs 7 plays to register his first sack, you could tell he wasn’t in top form yet, and there really isn’t any way he could have been. After coming back from his Achilles injury sooner than anybody expected, this was his first game action since last year’s playoff defeat.
After last week’s blowout loss to the Packers, people were wondering if the Texans were legit contenders or merely pretenders after only beating what some folks viewed as “soft” teams. I think that Sunday’s game against the Ravens showed that they are for real and even though they have some key injuries of their own, they can still compete and beat the best of them.
What the Ravens did to NOT win the game
Baltimore got their butts whipped in every way possibly Sunday plain and simple. After their first drive went for 8 plays, 45 yards, and 3 points the Ravens slid downhill fast. On their next drive Flacco got sacked in the end zone for a safety and they wouldn’t end up scoring again until the 3rd quarter. Baltimore was only able to convert on 4 of 15 third down conversions which resulted in Houston dominating the time of possession. Houston kept the ball for 38:16 while Baltimore was only able to handle it for 21:44. When a team possess the ball for close to 17 minutes longer than their opponent, it’s pretty clear what the outcome of the game is going to be.
Baltimore also got heavily outgained in yards on Sunday. Houston collected 420 yards while the Ravens were only able to muster a measly 176. Yes you read that right, 176 total yards. Those are typically weak numbers for one half for Baltimore, but on Sunday, nothing was working for the Ravens, and a 30 point defeat was the result. In addition to getting outgained by a huge margin, the Ravens also turned the ball over twice compared to the Texans who didn’t turn it over once.
What the Texans did to win the game
As I noted in the preview, we should expect the Texans to run run run and run some more. Houston had a total of 37 rushes to go along with 37 passes and their 50-50 balanced attack proved to be dominate against the Ravens. While the Texans didn’t gather over 200 yards rushing like Baltimore’s last two opponents did, they were certainly close in gaining 181 rushing yards. Arian Foster had 98 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Texans rushing attack.
Houston tried to get Andre Johnson involved heavily and his 10 targets proved that. Baltimore did a nice job containing Johnson in only allowing him 86 yards, but the Texans were still able to dominate the Ravens. Schaub spread the love around and 4 receivers had over 30 yards. Their balanced attack from the opening kickoff proved to be the right method in beating this injury plagued Ravens squad.
The match-up I wanted to keep an eye on this week was Andre Johnson versus the Baltimore corners. Cary Williams was matched up with Johnson a lot of although Johnson had 9 catches, but those catches were good for only 86 yards. Those numbers aren’t hateful if you are a Ravens fan for a defense playing against a perennial Pro-Bowl receiver without their best cover corner. Even though Baltimore kept Johnson in check, they still were dominated everywhere else on the field and lost this one.
Well I couldn’t have been more wrong on my prediction. My prediction of a 28-24 victory with T-Sizzle’s return to the field got crushed. Baltimore seemed to just lay over to this Texans team and they got crushed 43-13.
Luckily for the Ravens, week 8 is their bye week. This is much needed after their crushing defeat this week. Also Terrell Suggs will have the extra time to get more into game shape. After their bye week Baltimore travels to Cleveland to take on the Browns.