Baltimore Ravens: 4 Reasons They Don't Need to Panic after Loss to Texans
To say that the Baltimore Ravens were a disappointment in their Week 7 loss against the Houston Texans would be an understatement. The 43-13 loss was the biggest defeat since John Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2008.
After getting out to a quick 3-0 lead and forcing a couple of Houston punts, the Ravens looked like they had a decent shot at pulling off the, somewhat rare, away victory. However, after a solid punt by Houston punter Donnie Jones which was downed inside the Ravens 5-yard line, a Houston safety shifted the momentum. The Texans went on to score on their following possession and immediately returned a pick for a touchdown off Joe Flacco. Down 16-3, the Ravens never recovered.
Even though the performance from the Ravens this week was depressing, there's no need to press the panic button. Here are four reasons why the Baltimore Ravens don't need to panic just yet.
The Offense Will Rebound
With injuries to future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and star cornerback Lardardius Webb, the Ravens offense needed to step up and take some pressure off the defense.
They did not.
There's really not any positives that can be taken away from the performance of the Ravens' offense in Houston. Joe Flacco was horrid, Ray Rice was invisible and the offensive line didn't help matters at all. All in all, the offense had their worst game of the season, by far.
However, all is not lost. The Ravens will take this game as a learning experience. As past performances show, this Ravens offense is still very good and will continue to get better. One bad performance won't hinter their growth.
Hopefully, the coaching staff will also learn from this defeat. I understand that the Ravens want to have a dynamic passing attack, but 43 pass attempts to 12 rushing attempts is slightly absurd. If the Ravens are going to improve going forward, they have to hand it off Ray Rice more, which they will.
Terrell Suggs Looks 100 Percent
Perhaps the only bright spot for the Ravens this week was the performance of Terrell Suggs.
Suggs, who tore his Achilles tendon in the offseason, was originally slated to miss the whole season. His miraculous recovery was completed as he suited up to lead the Ravens defense into Houston.
With a sack and four tackles, Suggs looked to be in prime form, as he was easily the most impressive Raven on defense. It looks as if Suggs is completely recovered and at 100 percent. The pressure he puts on opposing QBs will help the Ravens' defense deal with the loss of Webb and Lewis, as will the emotion he brings with him in every game.
Nicely Placed Bye Week
Next week's bye couldn't come sooner for the Ravens. Nagging injuries can be rested and there is extra time for the coaching staff to examine the loss and plan for their Week 9 opponent, the Cleveland Browns.
A number of Ravens are dealing with some injuries. Haloti Ngata is dealing with a knee problem; Ed Reed has a shoulder injury; Ma'ake Kemoeatu missed the Houston game with a knee injury. These, along with other injuries, will now have a little bit of time to heal.
It's Only One Game
The Ravens are 5-2 and still hold a 1.5 game lead on the Steelers in the AFC North. As a whole, the AFC doesn't seem as strong this year. Nine-and-seven could easily be enough to make the wild card, and 10-6 is a guaranteed playoff spot.
This defeat isn't as bad as one may think. Yes, being beaten by 30 isn't fun and dandy, but at least it was a loss to a worthy opponent. The 12-7 loss to the Jaguars last season was worse than the loss suffered against the Texans.
That being said, these things happen. There are times where you just aren't going to be on your A-game while your opponent will be. One game isn't going to kill you. Learn and move on.
Now, if the Ravens come back and lay an egg to either the Browns in Week 9 and/or to the Raiders in Week 10, then you can start panicking. But as for now, the Ravens are still in decent shape.