It was another typical win for the Baltimore Ravens this week against a mediocre opponent, the 5-8 Houston Texans. The Ravens jumped out to a 21 point lead early, but kept Houston within range all game blowing their lead and forcing themselves to win in overtime. The trend continues, as the Ravens fail to play at their full potential for sixty minutes. Here are my thoughts on the game.
- Thank you Josh Wilson – On Matt Schaub’s 62nd pass of the night, Josh Wilson took it back for the game winning interception returned for a touchdown. Thank goodness.
- 3rd and 2 and a throw? – Cam Cameron told the media that he would turn the offense around, but on 3rd and 2 with 2:54 left in the game, Cam calls a run play that stopped the clock for Houston, saving them 40 seconds as they were able to tie the game without a timeout.
This is what happens – When the Ravens decide not to put away an opponent, the 5-8 Houston Texans nearly gave them a loss. The Ravens have proved that they aren’t ready for a Super Bowl run by failing to keep their offense running and allowing Matt Schaub and the Texans offense to stay well within reach.
- A quick start – The Ravens came out and attacked the Texans secondary early. Baltimore put Willis McGahee in the end zone on 2nd and goal after a ten play drive in the 1st. Then, in the 2nd quarter, Joe Flacco connected with Derrick Mason in the end zone twice, it was Mason’s first game with the Ravens with two touchdowns, and they came after two disappointing drops by the veteran earlier in the half. Mason’s first TD was a beautiful finger tip catch in the back of the end zone and his second was a jump ball that he took past the goal line.
- A failure to finish – After putting up 21 points in the first half, the Ravens had a snoozer in the 3rd quarter. After David Reed’s kickoff return the Ravens went three and out on a drive with a run, a sack and a dump off pass and Houston commanded the quarter for the remainder of the fifteen minutes. In the 4th quarter the Ravens had a chance to put together a drive to kill the clock, but gave Houston the ball back with 2:54 left in the game allowing them to tie and take Baltimore to overtime.
- A tale of two defenses – The Ravens were in Matt Schaub’s face early on with a three man rush. Terrell Suggs and Cory Redding recorded sacks, but Haloti Ngata and Jarrett Johnson were helpful in the process as well. But in the second half Arian Foster kicked it into gear, finishing with over 100 yards and Matt Schaub ran a hurry up offense to allow the Texans to tie the game on two nearly 100 yard drives.
- David Reed takes it to the house – The Ravens are thankful that David Reed was in the game on Monday despite the investigations surrounding him for possible narcotics. Reed took a kickoff back 103 yards at the start of the second half for the Ravens longest kickoff return in franchise history. It was just a matter of time before Reed broke one, he’s been solid in his role as the kick returner and on Monday he broke free from four Texans defenders to score six for the Ravens.
- Gruden: “Texans deserve to be booed” – The Ravens defense and Texans receivers were giving fans in Houston a reason to boo at halftime and throughout the game. Josh Wilson and Lardarius Webb played solid defense on Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels, but the Texans receivers continued to drop passes throughout the half, but put on a show in the fourth quarter by scoring 14 points on 99 and 95 yard drives.
- Koch is a stud – Sam Koch continued to show why he should be a Pro Bowler this season with punts landing on the 1 and 4 yard lines and four within the 20.
Fans that are looking for the Ravens to play a solid four quarters of football will have to wait until next week. The Ravens looked like they could run up the score on the Houston, but walked away with an overtime win, I guess I should be happy to see the team advance to 9-4, but to me this game proves that this team still hasn’t lived up to their talent level.