Ouch. My bottom still hurts from the beating the Houston Texans gave the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The game was beyond painful to watch and it was heart-breaking watching a team with so much potential play so poorly in a match-up of what was supposed to be the AFC’s top teams.
Unfortunately the Texans had the Ravens’ number early when they sacked quarterback Joe Flacco and scored a safety. This ignited the ugly chain of events that ended in the 43-13 beat down of the Ravens.
Sadly Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh was at a loss for words and could only describe the loss like this:
“Sometimes you get tossed out of the bar,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m concerned about everything.”
At half-time it was clear the Ravens were in a hole they would never get out of when the Texans were up 29-3.
The offense couldn’t get it going. While their no-huddle works fine at home, it stinks on the road and the Ravens abandoned it during the game. The offense did not have more than 15 yards on any one play.
Flacco finished with his lowest quarterback rating since last season’s game against the New York Jets. Flacco was 21 for 43 for 147 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 45.4.
Running back Ray Rice was virtually non-existent; he had nine carries for 42 yards and no touchdowns.
Flacco had no explanation for what went wrong:
“I don’t really have an answer for you,” he said. “I think that’s just the way it worked out. These guys are a good team. We didn’t play up to the level that we expect to.” “They played well. We didn’t,” Flacco said. “They played fast and we just weren’t able to stand up to it today and give it a good fight.”
The offensive line did a poor job protecting Flacco; he took eight hits and was sacked four times.
Wide receiver Tandon Doss scored his first career touchdown; he was the only Raven to find the end zone on Sunday.
The defense had their own set of issues. It was the first game this season they played without middle linebacker Ray Lewis, out with a torn triceps muscle and cornerback Lardarius Webb, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
The Ravens’ defense had few big hits and no spark; the only good thing was the return of linebacker Terrell Suggs. Suggs had surgery for a torn Achilles tendon in May and was on the PUP list until last Wednesday when he was removed from the PUP and practiced for the first time.
Word quickly spread that he would likely play Sunday, but Suggs and coach Harbaugh would not confirm or deny if Suggs would suit up. Then to the amazement of everyone, he was on the field and back in action.
Suggs impressed with one sack and three tackles. He was the only bright spot on the defense; unfortunately one person cannot stop an entire team. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub went 23 for 37 for 256 yards. The Texans set a franchise record with 420 yards.
Ravens’ special teams played well and rookie kicker Justin Tucker hit his fourth 50+ yard field goal this season.
The Ravens are on a bye this week; it couldn’t have come at a better time. They need the time off to recover from their nagging injuries, reflect on what went wrong and find ways to repair the holes. They come back to another road game against division rival Cleveland Browns in Cleveland.
I admit that I went into this game assuming the Ravens would lose; I suppose it was easier for me to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I didn’t expect them to be beaten to a pulp. They need to figure out how to “Play like Ravens” again.