In an impressive bounce back game, the Houston Texans finally defeated the Baltimore Ravens for the first time in franchise history with a score of 43-13. The defense looked like their old self, while the offense took to the air to rack up yards against a depleted Ravens team.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak showed some determination by not letting off the gas and kept pounding the football against the Ravens to nail this victory home and take sole possession of the AFC conference for their own. The Texans upped their season record to 6-1 and took a strangle hold of the AFC South in the process.
The Texans are hitting the bye week at a good point of the season and it will be there to give the team one last breath of fresh air before the run to week 17.
Let’s take a look.
- Connor Barwin finally woke up, even though he had an active game against the Green Bay Packers. Barwin had 4 tackles, 3 tackles for losses, 4 quarterback hits and 1 pass deflected against the Ravens. His biggest play of the day was when he sacked Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco for a safety to open up the scoring for the Texans and switched the momentum in a hurry in the favor of the home team. Having Barwin this active for the defense was a huge step for them to return to form, and their dominating pass rush.
- The offense got off to a slow start but they were kick started with Matt Schaub’s arm where he went 23/37 for 256 yards and two touchdowns. The most impressive thing was Schaub’s awareness in the pocket and stepping up and making throws. His touchdown pass to Kevin Walter (25 yards), he stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike to open up the flood gates for the scoring. This offense shows some life when Schaub is allowed to push the ball down field.
- The Texans’ defensive line was impressive against the Ravens and despite J.J. Watt being shut out in the sack column he still deflected two passes. One of those deflected passes resulted in the Johnathan Joseph interception that resulted in a touchdown. Antonio Smith had back to back sacks and Earl Mitchell, Jared Crick and Shaun Cody helped limit the Ravens to 55 yards on the ground. The group also totaled 4 quarterback hits on Flacco which set the stage for a long day for the Ravens offense.
- Owen Daniels continued an impressive season and he caught his 4th touchdown in five games. Daniels is a pass catching threat and has showed some sure hands in the passing game, and Schaub’s favorite target in the middle of the field. Targeted 10 times, he made the most of it with 7 catches and a diving catch for a touchdown.
- Andre Johnson has been targeted 22 times in the last two games and he has come up with 17 of those for 161 yards. He has failed to reach the endzone, but the football is flying his direction and making him a bigger part of the offense. This is what the fan base has called for and the offensive coaching staff realizes they have to use Johnson often during the game to keep defenses honest. He may not be racking up the touchdown numbers, but seeing him involved is a good sight to see.
- Special teams coverage is still an issue for the Texans, the Ravens averaged 28.7 yards a return. If it is a personnel thing or an issue with lack of effort, the Texans are going to have to straighten out their coverage teams. If Bryan Braman was not on coverage teams, there is a good chance returners could still be running. He has been the only real standout making a difference when they run down on coverage.
- Arian Foster had a quiet 98 yard rushing day, but he did punch in two touchdown on the ground. Foster once again worked hard for his yards and his longest run was 16 yards, but he seems to get the job done without big runs right now.
TD, Arian Foster. His 2nd of the day, 10th of the season, 43rd in 42 career games #Texans
— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) October 21, 2012
- It was good to see Whitney Mercilus finally involved with the defense, get his first career sack and caused a fumble on Joe Flacco. He had a impressive game with 3 tackles and one pass deflection that resulted in a Glover Quin interception late in the game. Mercilus showed his speed and finally looked comfortable playing off the edge in attack mode. Getting Mercilus going will only help Brooks Reed and Barwin stay fresher during the game.
- Don’t look now but Kareem Jackson was very quiet against the Ravens, and when it comes to cornerback play that is a good sign. Many “critics” want to keep looking at the previous two seasons and refuse to give Jackson any type of credit. The reality is Jackson has turned himself into a better player in year three and has become a top tandem in the league with Johnathan Joseph, which they are only getting better. A sure tackler who still needs to work on finding the football, but it is hard to complain about the job he has done coming out of week 7. Also, we forgot to tell you Jackson is tied for the AFC lead in interceptions with three.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.