The Baltimore Ravens protected their house and proved the naysayers wrong with a 30-9 win over the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.
The win was the perfect way to induct former middle linebacker and future Hall of Famer, Ray Lewis into the Ravens Ring of Honor. Lewis was announced with the defense and was honored during half time.
It was also fitting that the Ravens defense stepped up their game. The Ravens defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in their last two games. They held Texans quarterback Matt Schaub to 195 yards and one interception.
Head coach John Harbaugh was pleased with the defense:
“We do feel we’re as far along as we could possibly be with this group,” Harbaugh said. “We haven’t given up the big plays.”
Ironically Lewis’ replacement, Daryl Smith had a pick six after running the ball 37 yards for a touchdown.
Less than two minutes later, wide receiver/return specialist Tandon Doss ran the punt return 82 yards for a touchdown.
The Ravens offense continued to struggle, in the first half they only had four first downs for 65 yards, and they led 17-9 at half time.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco went 16 of 24 for 171 yards.
The run game struggled without running back Ray Rice who suffered a hip flexor injury in week two. Through the first three games, the Ravens have only averaged 2.6 yards per carry, compared to an average of 4.3 yards last season and 3.9 yards in the playoffs.
Flacco believes the team will continue to improve:
“… So far, the last two weeks we haven’t played great, but we’ve managed to win football games. We have to continue to get better.”
The offense is a work in progress; will the defense continue to shine? The defense has dramatically improved after falling flat in the season opener against the Denver Broncos and where they allowed seven touchdowns by quarterback Peyton Manning.
Since week one they haven’t allowed any touchdowns, holding their opponents to field goals. Many said it would take some time for the new defense to come together, it looks like that time is here, they got their act together fast.
I am excited about the younger, faster defense. I’m ready to have a dominant defense again.
The Ravens head to Buffalo to face the Bills on Sunday. Will their defense dominate again? Time will tell…