Following their bye week with wide receiver Lee Evans, cornerback Jimmy Smith and left guard Ben Grubbs still sidelined, the Baltimore Ravens obviously didn’t get as many players back from injury as they had hoped, but that didn’t prevent them from beating the Houston Texans 29-14 in a decisive fashion.
There were times in the game where the Texans moved the ball on the Ravens’ defense and even more where the offense looked lost, but the Ravens played a solid game for the most part. It’s obvious that the team is still powered by their defense. The offense started and ended strong but struggled to protect quarterback Joe Flacco or get anything going throughout most of the game.
The Texans started with the ball, managed a few first downs and pinned the Ravens deep on their first possession. The Ravens drove down the field with an impressive 16 play, 97 yard drive that finished with a touchdown on a sneak by Flacco.
After that successful drive, the Ravens offense struggled throughout the rest of the game. In the second quarter, Flacco threw an interception that gave the Texans a short field and a touchdown. The Ravens struggled to find the endzone, and Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff added two field goals before the Texans took the lead with a 32 yard touchdown pass from Texans quarterback Matt Schaub to wide receiver Jacoby Jones.
After that touchdown, the Ravens didn’t allow another score to the Texans and finished an eight play, 74 yard drive with a field goal to retake the lead before the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Ravens’s defense clamped down on the Texans. The Ravens’ offense played smash-mouth football and leaned heavily on the running game to grind out the game. The Ravens managed two more field goals and a six play, 66 yard drive that ended in a Ricky William’s rushing touchdown.
The Ravens defense once again led the team to victory and was the strongest unit on the field, but the offense did manage a few key drives that helped win the game. As the season progresses, we continue to see the evolution of the Ravens’ team on offense and defense. Let’s look at what we learned from Baltimore’s 29-14 win.