Baltimore Ravens: Winners and Losers from the Game vs. Houston Texans
Not only did they beat the Ravens, but they embarrassed the Ravens.
After giving up an average of 221 yards rushing over the last two weeks, the Baltimore gave up 181 yards on the ground today.
Also, for the sixth time this season, Baltimore had the ball for less time than its opponent. In fact, in their last two games, the Ravens have had the ball for 41:13 compared to the 78:19 they've been on defense.
Terrell Suggs made a surprising return to the field and had a good game (four tackles and one sack).
Other than that, not much of anything went well for the Ravens on Sunday.
With two weeks to get ready for the Browns, they will have plenty to work on before their next game.
Until then, here are the winners and losers from Sunday's contest.
Winner: Texans Defense
Joe Flacco was sacked four times, hit eight times and had 11 of his 43 pass attempts deflected.
Glover Quin had six tackles and an interception. Johnathan Joseph had five tackles and returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown. Connor Barwin had four tackles (three for a loss) and a sack. Antonio Smith had two sacks.
Houston intercepted Flacco twice while not turning the ball over itself. It limited Baltimore to only 3.0 yards per play.
Perhaps the biggest positive for the Texans is that they held Ray Rice to 54 yards on 14 touches.
When the Texans completely dominate what has been a very good offense team like that, they are going to be awfully hard to beat.
Winer: Arian Foster
Arian Foster rushed 19 times for 98 yards and scored twice on Sunday. While that's an improvement for this Ravens defense, it is still another very strong performance for Foster.
Through seven games, Foster has rushed for 659 yards and nine touchdowns.
Last year in the playoffs, Foster ran 27 times for 132 yards and one touchdown against the Ravens. Clearly, he has Baltimore's number.
At one point late in the game, Foster seemed to be stopped at the line of scrimmage. However, he stayed patient, waited for the defense to make a move, then ran up the right sideline for a gain of 16 yards, setting up his second touchdown of the day.
Although his 19 carries were the second-least he's had all season, Foster tied his season-high for yards per carry (5.2) and rushing touchdowns (two) against the Ravens.
To win, Baltimore needed to stop Foster, or at least slow him down. Neither of those two tasks were accomplished.
Winner: Justin Tucker
Obviously, the Ravens lost, but Justin Tucker played well nonetheless.
Tucker was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts and converted his only extra-point attempt of the afternoon.
Tucker's two field goals were both from more than 50 yards away (51, 54). He is now 14-for-15 on the year, converting all four of his attempts from 50 yards or further. His only miss to date was a 47-yard attempt against Cleveland in Week 4.
To go where they want to go, the Ravens will have to rely on a clutch kicker. They have one in Tucker.
Loser: Joe Flacco
Flacco had a terrible game Sunday while under constant pressure from Houston's defensive front.
Flacco was 21-of-43 for 147 yards and threw one touchdown and two interceptions. It was his second-lowest completion percentage (48.8 percent), his lowest yardage output and his second-worst touchdown-to-interception output of the season.
He seemed to constantly be on the run, trying to avoid defenders, rarely being able to set his feet and hit an open receiver.
Houston's defense was all over the field, stifling what was the seventh-best scoring offense in the league (before the start of Week 7). Early in the game, Connor Barwin sacked Flacco in the end zone, creating a safety for Houston. Flacco's awareness usually prompts him to get rid of the ball in that type of situation.
All in all it was an awful game for Flacco and the Ravens. He was physically beat up (sacked four times, hit eight times) and couldn't seem to establish any kind of rhythm with his offensive teammates.
Loser: Ravens Offensive Line
As a whole, the Ravens offensive line had been playing well this season.
They did not play well on Sunday. Sure, Houston boasts a top-tier pass rush, but if you want to be an elite team, you can't make excuses.
Their run blocking was actually good. Twelve carries for 55 yards equates to an average rush of 4.6 yards.
The weakness was in pass blocking. As mentioned, Baltimore allowed four sacks and eight quarterback hits today. Unfortunately, that's becoming a trend for the Ravens.
In three of their last four games (except for last week against the Cowboys), the Ravens have allowed 12 sacks and 20 quarterback hits.
The biggest scare of the day for the Ravens came in the second quarter when rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele sustained an injury to his right ankle while blocking. Although he was carted off the field, x-rays would be negative.