Five Takeaways from the Ravens 30-9 victory over the Texans

Ray Lewis cheering on Tandon Doss, as he heads for the endzone.
  1. Defense comes alive- It was only fitting that the defense came to life on the day that the Ravens inducted Ray Lewis into the team’s Ring of Honor. After a very poor performance against the Broncos to start the season it would have been easy to assume that this unit would have a long way to go before playing at a high level. Following back-to-back strong efforts against the Browns and Texans, it is safe to say that this group is starting to show us why so many analysts believed they would be better than last years defense. The Texans opened the game up with a 16 play, 69 yard drive that resulted in a field goal, but  on their other ten drives of the game, the team was held to a total of 196 yards and two field goals. Daryl Smith continues to play at a high level as he returned an interception for a touchdown, as well as lead the team in tackles with ten.
  2. Tandon Doss continues to impress- Doss, a former fourth round pick who was one of the final cuts by the Ravens, was quickly brought back after Jacoby Jones went down with a knee injury against the Broncos. Although he hasn’t been asked to do much on the offensive side of the ball, his impact has been felt on special teams. Last week against the Browns he had two big returns and then followed that up with a momentum shifting 82 yard punt return touchdown right before the half to put the Ravens in front 17-6. If he keeps this up it’ll be hard to keep him off the field even when Jones returns.
  3. Run game still struggling- Even though this offensive line has four returning starters from last year, they have done a poor job on run blocking. The team has yet to have a hundred yard rusher, and their average yard per carry is 2.66 through the first three games. With Ray Rice sidelined with a hip flexor injury, many were curious to see how backup Bernard Pierce would do with a full workload, but Pierce was only able to produce 65 yards on 24 carries against a tough Texans defense. The offensive line didn’t open up many holes and when they did it looked as if Pierce was hesitant to hit them. It didn’t look like the Pierce that Ravens fans have come to appreciate as their change-of-pace back.
  4. Joe Flacco is still… Joe Flacco- For those fans who are waiting to see quarterback Joe Flacco throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns on a consistent basis because of the new contract he received, don’t hold your breath. Given the revolving door at the wide receiver and tight end positions, and the shaky pass protection, Flacco won’t be able to put up those numbers, nor does he need to in order to win. If you haven’t noticed over the years, Flacco has won a lot of games without putting up big numbers and has taken the team to the playoffs each year, always winning at least one game. As long as this team keeps winning it doesn’t matter what Flacco does, because he knows what it takes to get it done when it matters most. Ravens fans should accept that about their quarterback and understand that he is working with a rookie, two veterans who are well past their primes, an inconsistent pass catching tight end, and Torrey Smith, who is still refining his route running skills. It’s going to take time before you see Flacco putting up big numbers with this group when it really matters and not during garbage time like against the Broncos.
  5. Tucker bounces back- Although I don’t think there was any need to panic over kicker Justin Tucker’s performance last week when he missed two field goals, it was definitely reassuring to see him make all three kicks this week. Tucker is the real deal and will continue to produce. No need to worry Ravens fans.
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One Response to “Five Takeaways from the Ravens 30-9 victory over the Texans”

  1. […] Offensive Line officially a concern- Last week I touched on how the offensive line has been struggling to open up holes for the running backs and […]

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