Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens: Full Roster Grades for Houston
At least Randy Bullock didn't miss a field goal.
Well, Shane Lechler was terrific, J.J. Watt got a sack and DeAndre Hopkins had a few nice catches. But that was about it for the Houston Texans in their disappointing 30-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Everything else was pathetic. From passing the ball to the defense stepping up when it mattered to special teams coverage, the Texans experienced failure on multiple levels.
Here are the grades for the Texans' entire roster from their worst game of the 2013 season.
Matt Schaub: C-
After two stellar come-from-behind victories in the past two weeks, Matt Schaub had finally seemed to put his struggles from last season to rest.
Now, though, it appears Schaub is still being plagued by some of his old demons.
He looked uncertain in the pocket, missing many reads, misthrowing more than a few balls and throwing the pick-six that completely changed the momentum of the game.
Schaub was plain terrible, and the Texans will not win many games against good teams if he repeats this performance.
Arian Foster: B+
Arian Foster's stats seem terrible, as 54 total yards seems indicative of the up-and-down he has been experiencing. But Foster actually had a decent game.
He consistently picked up good yardage whenever he touched the ball—averaging a solid 4.5 yards per carry. He made defenders miss, made effective cuts and looked like vintage Foster.
Unfortunately, the Texans strayed away from the running game in the second half for obvious reasons, and Foster was unable to build upon what was looking like the beginnings of a great performance.
Ben Tate: C+
After the first two weeks of the season, Ben Tate was the superior running back to Arian Foster. Not in this one, though.
He had several good runs, but he had just as many unimpressive ones. He failed to take advantage of his limited opportunities, and overall, he had an average performance.
Greg Jones: B
Greg Jones is proving to be a smart signing by the Texans. He's a fantastic lead-blocker, and he can really open up holes for the Texans running backs. He had a solid game Sunday and was a major reason for some of the success the Texans had running the ball.
Andre Johnson was injured in the middle of the second half, and he did not return for the rest of the game. In his limited time, however, he was unimpressive. He had a few nice short catches for first downs, but he failed to make the impact the Texans have come to expect out of their superstar receiver.
DeAndre Hopkins: B+
DeAndre Hopkins, for the third straight week, put on a great performance for a rookie receiver just getting accustomed to the NFL.
He hauled in six of his seven targets for 60 yards and made several very, very impressive catches. As the season progresses and Hopkins becomes more and more comfortable with the offense, he will only continue to improve.
Keshawn Martin: C
Keshawn Martin received limited playing time at receiver for most of the game, but after the injury to Johnson, he was in on nearly every down. He had a few nice catches, and he definitely displayed his explosiveness.
But he also had a costly drop late in the game that effectively ended any chance the Texans had of staging a comeback. Drops have been an issue with Martin, and he will not receive consistent playing time until he can prove to the coaching staff that he has overcome his problem.
Owen Daniels: D+
Matt Schaub typically relies on Owen Daniels to be his safety net, much like how Tony Romo relies on Jason Witten. When Daniels struggles, so too, usually, does Schaub.
Daniels failed to do much of anything in this one. The majority of his receptions were inconsequential short ones that had little impact on the game, and he did nothing to help the Texans establish a consistent offensive effort.
Garrett Graham: D-
Although he was playing with an injury, Garrett Graham made absolutely no impact in this game. In the past two weeks, he had been a force in the play action, especially in the red zone, and he was a great weapon for Schaub. He failed to show up this week, and this certainly hurt the offense.
Offensive Line: C
In a stunning reversal of roles, the right side of the Texans' offensive line outplayed the left side. Well, Duane Brown being out probably had something to do with it, but it still was an impressive feat for the right side of the line, which had been the catalyst of all the Texans' offensive struggles in the past.
Brandon Brooks and Derek Newton were both good in the running game, and both Arian Foster and Ben Tate experienced more success when running toward the right.
On passing plays, however, Newton struggled heavily. He was flagged for two holding penalties, and he experienced difficulty trying to keep his assignments in front of him.
The left side sans Brown was average—it had its ups and downs, but it clearly hurt the Texans more than it helped them.
J.J. Watt: A
When is J.J. Watt not amazing? He always manages to impact every game, and he always does it in impressive fashion.
Although Watt did not tally a batted down pass, he did total nine tackles, one sack and three tackles for a loss. Overall, a stellar performance for Watt, who was forced to deal with double-teams throughout the entirety of the game.
Earl Mitchell: B-
Earl Mitchell is now a significant upgrade over Shaun Cody. He is quick and shifty; offensive linemen struggle to contain him. He didn't make much of an impact on the stat sheet, but he certainly made his impact felt on the field.
Antonio Smith: C-
Aside from his one sack, Antonio Smith failed to make much of an impact on this one. In fact, he struggled to get close to Joe Flacco for most of the game and overall did not contribute much to the pass rush.
Whitney Mercilus: C
In order for the Texans defense to truly succeed, it needs to establish a consistent pass rush. Whitney Mercilus was supposed to be a major part of that solution, but so far this season, and especially against the Ravens, he has failed to answer the call.
Brian Cushing: B-
From a statistical standpoint, Brian Cushing had a very solid game, tallying eight tackles and one for a loss. Cushing, however, hurt the Texans defense Sunday with his two neutral-zone-infraction penalties that allowed the Ravens to continue their drives.
Joe Mays/Darryl Sharpton: C+
Both Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton, who are rotating at the second inside linebacker position, had solid yet unexceptional games.
They both made plays against the run, but they didn't do anything to truly elevate the Texans' level of play.
Brooks Reed: B-
Brooks Reed was very good against the run, which is why is grade is higher than Mercilus'. Reed, though, made little to no impact when rushing the passer, and that is a department the Texans desperately need him to contribute to.
Johnathan Joseph: A-
Johnathan Joseph, aside from one big pass play that he gave up to Torrey Smith, had a very good game. He shut down the Ravens receivers, and Joe Flacco rarely looked to throw his way.
Kareem Jackson: B+
Like Joseph, Kareem Jackson also locked down the Ravens receivers, aside from one or two plays where Flacco threw perfect balls.
Jackson will likely be criticized for his two pass-interference penalties, but from my vantage point on the 40-yard line, they appeared to be poor calls. The first one was questionable, but the second one in the end zone was downright wrong.
Both Jackson and the receiver had their arms outstretched, which should have nullified any penalty. Jackson was wrongly penalized, and his otherwise great performance should not be downgraded for it.
Brice McCain: D
Brice McCain, on the other hand, was downright terrible for the third straight week. He gave up the majority of passing yards to the Ravens receivers; he was not able to keep up with them.
McCain seriously needs to improve soon, or he might see Brandon Harris encroach on his playing time.
Ed Reed: B+
Ed Reed didn't stand out in this game, which is typically a good thing for a defensive back. I don't recall Joe Flacco throwing his way once, so Reed must have been very solid in coverage.
Danieal Manning: C
Danieal Manning, as opposed to Reed, had difficulty in coverage. On nearly all of the Ravens' big passing plays, he was the safety responsible for covering the receiver over the top.
D.J. Swearinger/Shiloh Keo: B-
Both Shiloh Keo and D.J. Swearinger had solid performances. Keo was very good in coverage, and he didn't give up any noticeable plays.
Swearinger gave up one big passing play to Dallas Clark, but aside from that, he was great against the run, and he really showed off his physicality.
Randy Bullock: A
Hard to criticize Randy Bullock in this one, even though one might be inclined to find any way possible to disparage him after his terrible performance last week against the Titans.
Bullock hit all three of his field goals, including one impressive 47-yarder.
Shane Lechler: A+++
Shane Lechler had by far the best performance by any Texan in this game. He was truly incredible. He dropped the ball inside the 10-yard line with ease, and he consistently forced the Ravens to work with awful field position.