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Dime Coverage: Postgame Thoughts on Ravens/Texans

A total debacle.

In a game that was billed as a battle between AFC heavyweights, the Ravens were most assuredly knocked out by the Texans today.

Every flaw that fans have been concerned with about this team was on display today and while I’ll spend the bulk of the post picking over them let’s make sure to credit Houston. As of right now they are the team to beat and proved it in every sense of the word this afternoon.

Now on to the game:

  • Terrell Suggs. I’m going to start with the lone positive coming out of today’s game. No one except Mr. Suggs could have predicted that not only would he be active today but that he’d play as well as he did. He finished his first game back with a sack, three tackles, and a batted ball. Suggs should only get better as he rounds into game shape over the next few weeks which is encouraging on many fronts. First, Baltimore could use a high quality player on defense and Second they could use his leadership. It was interesting to watch Suggs lead the cheer and not Lewis during the pre-game warm-up. I know that Lewis still may return for season eighteen but in many ways I felt today was a passing of the torch to Suggs as the captain and leader of the D.
  • It’s really quite amazing how quickly this game spun out of control and it all began with the Safety with 4:49 left in the First Quarter. The momentum shifted and stayed with Houston the rest of the game as they rattled off 27 unanswered points before Joe Flacco hit Tandon Doss on a 15-yd screen for a score (first of his career) in early stages of the Third Quarter. The Ravens had started fairly strong up until that turnover up 3-0 on a 51-yd Justin Tucker boot. The defense looked rejuventated too and forced Houston into two straight Three and Outs and they also ended their third possession in only five plays. After the Safety and a batted pick six later Houston was up 16-3 in only thirty nine seconds. There is plenty of blame to go around after a loss like this so I’ll start with the offense.
  • The stat line for Joe Flacco wasn’t pretty. He was 21 of 43 for 147. He threw two interceptions and one touchdown for a QB Rating of 45.4. Flacco was under seige all day and the Ravens had no answers for Wade Phillips’ swarming defense. They batted balls out of the air, they hurried him and finally sacked him a total of four times. This all led to Joe looking awfully uncomfortable in the pocket, so much so that even routine curls and out routes were getting launched at the sideline cameramen. That’s when you know you’ve gotten inside the quarterback’s head.
  • The Offensive line was pretty awful today and that’s being kind. The blitz pickups were non-existent in some cases and you just can’t let a good defense get that many free shots on your quarterback. They did a pretty decent job run blocking (4.6 yds. per rush) which is going to lead to another huge question later in the post. It was good to see Kelechi Osemele return after being carted off the field. Not sure I was ready to see the Ravens lose yet another starter from the lineup.
  • It’s hard to understand why this offense looks so different on the road compared to when they play at home. Cam Cameron I’m looking you way, any answers? One constant is the disappearance of Ray Rice, whom they failed to establish today. I realize that when you get far behind you throw the ball more but Rice showed success early in the game (9 for 47) and busted a 17-yd gain that led to the game’s first points. I don’t want to make this my lone complaint with the offense though. Another would be the lack of separation from our recievers. Why does it seem like our opponents can roam free while our guys get blanketed causing Flacco to have to place the ball in tight quarters? Is it the reciever’s inability to get off of press coverage, is it scheme – maybe both?
  • Time of Possession. Houston 38:16 – Baltimore 21:44. One problem with playing so fast is that when you go Three and Out (numerous times-6 to be exact) you put your defense back on the field quickly. Which considering their recent struggles isn’t the best recipe for victory. The Ravens got away with it last week against Dallas but were made to pay dearly for it by a more competent outfit like Houston.
  • Jimmy Smith. Another rough day for the former first rounder as he got beat quite bit today. He reminds me off Adam Jones during the playoffs – so anxious to make a play that he swings at every pitch. Smith is so jumpy right now he bites on even the slightest fake and was a victim of double moves at least twice today. I still think he’ll be a good one someday but he needs to start showing improvement quickly as the Ravens can ill afford major mistakes in coverage right now.
  • The defense gave up 43 points today which really isn’t true ( a pick six shouldn’t count against them) but it is the largest amount given up since 2007. They gave up 420 Total Yards (181 on the ground), allowed 8 for 15 on Third Down conversions, and only generated two sacks. It has to get better, right?
  • Justin Tucker. The kid can kick. He has four field goals of at least 50 yards this season, a Ravens record. I wondered what the purpose of having him attempt a 54 yarder down 26 but then again what does it matter? The Offense continued to struggle and a few points would only make the final result look only slightly better.
  • The team really needed this break after a game like today. They’ll also need to find out how to play better on the road as three of the next four are away from their beloved purple crab-cake.

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5 Responses to “Dime Coverage: Postgame Thoughts on Ravens/Texans”

  1. Brian says:

    Plain and simple, we got beat on the line of scrimmage for both sides of the ball today. Fix that and its a game

  2. GW says:

    If I’m the Texans defense I send Cam Cameron a nice bottle of wine–they never had to worry about Rice getting the ball. Only 9 carries for Ray Rice that’s a great way for the opposing team to shut down the run.

  3. rsty says:

    What kind of time is Flacco getting in the pocket, and how does that compare to other qb’s in the league?

  4. That’s a good question.

    We know that the line has struggled in pass protection at times but what concerns me is that I don’t see adjustments made. What about max protect a few times to get a simple completion? What about sliding the tight end in to help?

    Here’s the best info I could find to help answer the question at PFF.

  5. rsty says:

    Interesting, but all that site does is rank them and I had a feeling that the pass block was crap already, hehe.

    I don’t know that much about football, but it strikes me as strange that on the one hand we have a good run block, but then the pass block is terrible. If Marshal Yanda is so effective for rb, why is he not so for pb?

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