The Ravens improve to 2-1 on the young season with a 30-9 victory over the Houston Texans. A game the national experts on each networks pregame show, unanimously chose the Texans to win. On “Ray Lewis Day,” as he was placed into the Ravens Ring of Honor at halftime, here is a recap of the day’s action.
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- Marcus Spears made his presence felt early, as he got into the backfield to break up a screen pass to Owen Daniels. Need him to play well with Chris Canty and now Terrence Cody out.
- Terrell Suggs notches his third sack in as many games as the Texans go 3 and out after a long drive.
- Ravens got a gift taunting penalty from Jonathan Joseph giving them their first third down conversion.
- Andre Johnson juggled a pass he normally catches which would have been a sure first down. Instead the defense holds the Texans to just a field goal.
- Justin Tucker makes a 28 yard field goal, putting the Ravens on the board midway through the second quarter.
- Daryl Smith Picks up the Ravens first turnover of the season, intercepting Matt Schaub and returning it 37 yards for the touchdown. Schaub was looking towards Owen Daniels whom he had success finding up to that point. He went to that well one too many times.
- Haloti Ngata picks up a sack on the ensuing drive, setting up 3rd and 16.
- Tandon Doss, free agent signing a week ago sort of, returned a boming Shane Lechler punt 82 yards for the Ravens second TD of the day. He returned it, tip-toeing down the Ravens sideline just in front of Ray Lewis, on hand to be honored at halftime.
- Torrey Smith picks up a 48 yard gain, beating Jonathan Joseph down the left sideline, then after a great effort on a ball that would be overturned and ruled a drop, he made another grab for 24 yards, inside the Houston 10 yard line.
- Defensive pass interference sets up the Bernard Pierce for a one yard TD. 24-9 Ravens
- Bernard Pierce picks up 25 yards on the final play of the third quarter. By far his longest rush of the day.
- A 13 play drive bleeds over six minutes off the clock to start the fourth quarter. Drive ends in a 45-yard Justin Tucker FG. 27-9 Ravens.
- The Texans last chance at making this a game came to an end with James Ihedigbo breaking up a pass in the flat to Arian Foster on 4th and 2. Ravens take over with 5 minutes to play.
- Eight straight running plays further bleed the clock, and Justin Tucker puts one more FG on the board for good measure. 43 yards to make it 30-9 Ravens.
- Special teams penalty, and a couple missed coverages by Jimmy Smith led to a 16 play drive taking up 8:00 on the first drive, only a FG though.
- Terrence Cody leaves the game with an apparent knee injury.
- Ravens go three and out on their first and second drives. A Brian Billick like “run run pass” style to start the game.
- A couple personal fouls by Bryant McKinnie, and a sack/fumble of Joe Flacco, push the Ravens back to 4th and 35.
- The Ravens defense goes into prevent mode with 45 seconds left in the half. Four quick passes puts the Texans in field goal range. Houston cuts into the lead, 17-9 at the half.
- Flacco sacked by J.J. Watt to open the second half. We figured he would get one eventually.
- The offensive line has been dreadful, and today was no different. Joe Flacco did a great job getting the ball out quickly, but the run game once again never got going. Just 2.4 yards per rush.
- Officiating. A personal foul on Brynden Trawick where the replay didn’t show anything, missed calls, poor calls, couldn’t figure out the spot of the ball for about five minutes after an overturned call.
- Ed Reed in colors that were not purple and black. But it was good to see him smiling and having fun out there.
- 24 accepted penalties by both teams.
- J.J. Watt got the better of Marshall Yanda a few times, and we’re not really surprised. His presence was limited as he only recorded one sack and three tackles for loss.
- Despite the 30 points the Ravens put up, they only recorded 236 yards of offense.
All in all, it looked like Ravens came into today’s game with a game plan based on getting the run game going, and some quick passes before J.J. Watt could break into the pocket. When the run game stalled, and the quick passes led to little yards after catch, the Ravens made changes at the half and opened it up a bit. When the game was out of reach, the Ravens did a great job keeping the Houston offense on the sideline, watching the time tick away. Exactly what needed to be done, since Houston had won its previous two games in come from behind fashion. They never had the chance to make it three.
All three dimensions did their part today. Offense did just enough. Defense scored a TD, and has now kept opponents out of the endzone for eight straight quarters. Special teams scored a TD, and Tucker was 3-3 in the kicking game. A victory reminiscent of the ones we remember from the 2000 season. Maybe it was fitting, on a day we honor the leader of that great team, Ray Lewis.