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Connor Barwin— A
Barwin needed to get his mojo back, and he picked the perfect game to recapture it.
His first sack of 2012 was the safety that opened Houston’s scoring. He hit the QB four more times, and added four tackles for loss. Is it enough to put his season on the plus side? One game does not a season make, but it does take the onus off his meager stats for the year.
But Barwin, as much as anyone in this game, made Joe Flacco look like a rookie QB by getting in his face so often he could not get a clean look at his reads. Averaging 3.4 yards per passing attempt is ample evidence of his pressure.
Brooks Reed— B
Reed had another workman-like game, with nothing special to show for it. There may be a big game in his future with multiple sacks, but his overall sound play is enough for now.
Whitney Mercilus— B+
The strip-sack by Mercilus preceded Barwin’s sack for the safety. It was the beginning of series of mishaps that haunted the Baltimore QB for the rest of the game. More will be expected from him as the year goes on, so this was an auspicious start.
Bryan Braman— B+
Braman is one of the lone bright spots on special teams. His recovery of an onside kick meant the Ravens would not be able to turn a field goal into a potential game-changer.
Bradie James— B
James gave up some catches to Dennis Pitta, but they amounted to little in the end. The 55 yards the Ravens gained rushing came mostly up the middle, but this was a game the team from Baltimore would only win through the air.
James did his part to be sure neither would come to pass.
Tim Dobbins— B+
Filling in for Brian Cushing is just as hard as it sounds, but Dobbins acquitted himself well.
He may not have the sideline-to-sideline range of the missing ILB, but made it clear he was not a vulnerability ready to be exploited. Flacco tried Rice on a couple of screens and Dobbins held him to zero net yards.