It was all about the Texans in Reliant Stadium on Sunday, as Houston dominated the banged up Baltimore Ravens in a 43-13 rout.
Only one week after losing their first game of the year, at the hands of Green Bay, the big question coming into this game was how the Texans would respond.
Houston’s Whitney Mercilus celebrates after getting to Raven’s QB Joe Flacco. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
The week leading up to this game was full of talk about how Houston may not have been the team everyone thought they were at the beginning of the year and that maybe they hadn’t reached elite status in the NFL.
The Texans may not have changed everyone’s minds this week, but they certainly made a strong case that they will not be fazed by bad games.
Baltimore’s defense came into this game down several starters and were not expected to be the usually dominant force, but even in light of that there can’t be many who predicted the Texans would put up 43 points— a franchise record for the most points in a single game.
But that wasn’t the biggest change in the Texans’ record books after Sunday. This victory was the first by the Houston Texans over Baltimore in history. It was the Ravens who eliminated the Texans from the playoffs only a season ago.
If these two teams were to meet up again, say in the playoffs, this game could factor in, in a big way with home field implications.
The Texans’ offense looked sharp once again after that meager performance last week. Matt Schaub was back to his usual ways completing 23-of-37 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Matt Schaub (8) looks to throw on Sunday vs. the Ravens. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Arian Foster ran for nearly 100 yards again, got into the end zone twice and looked explosive and elusive running the ball.
Despite these performances, however, it was the Houston defense that proved to be the game changer in this one.
Johnathan Joseph came up with a huge pick-six early in the second quarter, Glover Quin continues to look better each week, coming up with a momentum stopping interception, and a batted pass at the line of scrimmage.
Speaking of batted down passes, Joe Flacco only completed 21-of-43 passing attempts, averaging 2.8 yards per pass, which was due, in large part, to the outstanding play of the Texans’ defensive line.
J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, and Whitney Mercilus combined to knock down 4 passes at the line, record three tackles for losses, two sacks and seven solo tackles.
The Ravens offense can definitely be spotty, but the play of the Texans’ defense forced them to have a bad game. Ray Rice was virtually a non-factor and the only player to get into the end zone for the purple and black was WR Tandon Doss who only caught one ball the whole day.
It’s safe to say that the Texans’ are not in any kind of slump or mentally suffering from their first loss of the season. They’ve definitely still got some things to improve upon, like pass defense in the secondary, and they’ll have to beat some better teams to prove that they can hang with the best.
Houston’s win over Baltimore is especially big going into the team’s bye week and will help them get ready for the Chicago Bears in two weeks.