The Houston Texans hosted the Baltimore Ravens in a game that had immediate and future implications on the seating in the AFC. In this game, both teams were playing for the top seed in the AFC. The Texans had a little bit extra to play for as they were bulldozed the previous week by the Packers and the Texans needed a good showing. The Texans also needed to win this game after coming so close in beating the Ravens over the last 3 years, but always coming up short due to a turnover. In this game, the Texans were able to get a huge boost from the defense to roll the Ravens out of Reliant Stadium and show tremendous character in a statement win.
FINAL SCORE: Texans 43 Ravens 13
Texans Regular Season Record: 6-1
Texans Divisional Record: 2-0
Texans AFC Conference Record: 6-0
Texans VS NFC Conference Record: 0-1
Texans Total Yards: 420
Ravens Total Yards: 176
Texans Passing Yards: 239
Ravens Passing Yards: 121
Texans Rushing Yards: 181
Ravens Rushing Yards: 55
Texans TOP: 38:16
Ravens TOP: 21:44
The Texans’ defense regained their dominant form Sunday as they pressured and pressured the Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco was under duress the entire game as the Texans’ front seven harassed him all game long. The adjustments that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips made to stifle the Ravens’ running game were excellent. The Texans only gave up 55 yards rushing to Ray Rice, one of the NFL’s premier backs, and took him out of the Ravens game plan. There were some new wrinkles Phillips used in the game to substitute for Cushing’s absence. At times, the Texans used Brooks Reed as an outside linebacker and brought in Whitney Mercilus to rush. Mercilus got the ball rolling for the defense when he came in and sacked Flacco, causing him to fumble, but the Ravens recovered. Then with the Ravens backed into their own endzone, Connor Barwin sacked Flacco in the Ravens’ endzone for a safety and his first sack of the season. Needless to say, that was a momentum booster for the defense and they were on fire the remainder of the game.
The special teams unit still needs work. The blocking for the Texans’ returner has been atrocious. They gave up an average of 32 yards per kickoff return. If the special teams unit continues to perform at this level, it’s a good chance that Joe Marciano may be looking for another job in the offseason.
There wasn’t anything ugly about this game that I can speak of except for the 43 points that the Texans rolled up on the Ravens, but it should have been 50.
*Injury Note: Ben Tate suffered a hamstring injury and didn’t return to the game. It doesn’t appear to be serious but we will monitor it as the bye week comes.
SEE GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE.