Huge Win over Ravens Proves Houston Texans Still NFL's Best Team
Yes, the Atlanta Falcons are unbeaten, but they have yet to showcase their talents against an elite football team. Houston did not just defeat one of the league's best teams in the Ravens, they embarrassed them.
The Texans were dynamic in all facets of the game, and they are a more complete football team than the Falcons. Atlanta ranks just 29th in the NFL with 86 rushing yards per game while the Texans are sixth, averaging 140 yards on the ground each week.
There is no denying that the win over Baltimore has an asterisk next to it. The Ravens were without LaDarius Webb and Ray Lewis. Their defense was a shell of its former shutdown self and Terrell Suggs was playing in only his first game since injury.
A compelling argument against the magnitude of the Texans win could be made if the victory did not come in such convincing fashion. Houston took one of the league's best offenses and held it to just 176 yards of total offense.
11 of Joe Flacco's passes were deflected, two of his throws were intercepted and Ray Rice gained just 42 yards on the ground.
Houston proved they can overcome adversity after being thoroughly punched in the mouth by the Packers. They addressed clear issues and improved accordingly.
After allowing 21 first downs to the Packers they gave up just 10 to the Ravens. Aaron Rodgers threw for six touchdowns, while Flacco had just one. The list goes on and on, but what matters is the fact the Texans know how to respond to a loss.
Does this mean the Falcons are actually behind the eight-ball because they are undefeated?
Obviously not, but they will lose eventually and we have no idea how they will respond. The Texans have shown they do not make the same mistakes twice, and they have the necessary playmakers to make a run at an ever-elusive Super Bowl.
J.J. Watt leads the league with 9.5 sacks, Arian Foster leads the league in rushing yards with 659 and Schaub is ninth in the NFL with a 93.1 passer rating.
Houston is allowing just 83 yards on the ground per week, fifth in the NFL, while Atlanta is giving up 143 yards rushing per week, 28th in the NFL. This just goes to show that the Falcons have clear deficiencies right now.
Are they overwhelming problems? No.
Are they keeping the Falcons from winning? Obviously not.
But these are real issues that Atlanta must address as they approach an extremely difficult part of their schedule. The Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals are all on the docket after the bye week and each presents a unique test for Atlanta.
The Falcons have a clear chance to lay claim to the top spot in the NFL, but right now the undefeated squad from Atlanta is second to a one-loss Houston team that blew out Baltimore 43-13.
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