Week 3 - Texans At Ravens: My Thoughts


NFL: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

Another game where the Texans were trailing, but this time the Texans could not make the comeback. Down 17-9 at the half, the Texans were unable to muster any offense in the second half against the Ravens. The Texans fell short against the defending Super Bowl champions falling 30-9.

What I Liked

  • J.J. Watt – He may lead this section every week but he deserves too. When the defense struggles there’s always one guy you could count on to give 100% every snap. Watt lead the team in tackles with six and had one sack on the day. 
  • Shane Lechler – Maybe too good? 5 punts for 50.4 yard average with three inside the 20. Difference maker.
  • Randy Bullock – 3/3 including one from 47 yards out. Only scoring from the team came via his leg.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Caught everything catchable his way. Continues to impress.
  • Run Blocking – Arian Foster and Ben Tate combine for 21 rushes, 90 yards, and a 4.3 yards per carry average. They did their job, just weren’t given enough opportunities.
  • The Defense – Honestly, I thought they played pretty well. The Ray Rice‘less Ravens aren’t exactly a powerhouse on offense but the defense did a great job throughout the day. In the second quarter they gave up a long drive, but that was due to some ticky-tack calls. They held the Ravens to a FG after they had a 1st & 5 from the HOU 10. The lone BAL TD drive was due to two Torrey Smith long catches. Otherwise the team defense looked pretty good throughout the game. Not the reason they lost
  • The Run Defense – I want to specifically mention the run defense. Sure there was no Ray Rice but holding Bernard Pierce to just 65 yards on 24 rushes is nothing to sneeze at. Pierce ended the day with a 2.7 YPC, but that was aided by a 25 yard run. Take that out and his YPC is just at 1.7. Great run defense!

What I Didn’t Like

  • Greg Jones – He leads off the section again. Just doesn’t have the chemistry with the running backs and it’s clear. He missed several blocks yesterday and needs to improve. A disappointment thus far.
  • Derek Newton – Run over real bad on one sack play PLUS had a holding on that play. Left the line a split second to early yet miraculously wasn’t called for it on several occasions. Didn’t have a great game in the pass protection game.
  • Johnathan Joseph – Let up a few big plays and had a taunting penalty. I hate the principle of the penalty but a veteran DB needs to know better.
  • Gumble and Dierdorf – Wow. They were horrendous. Can’t stand ‘em!
  • Officiating – After the Ravens were flagged on many plays in the first, the flags went all against the Texans from there on out. Most were deserved but some were ridiculous. The Texans didn’t lose from the flags but they certainly didn’t help.
  • Joe Marciano – I’m very against the coaches getting the blame for poor play by there players but sometimes someone needs to take the blame. Besides poor return coverage which let up another touchdown, the return game has been atrocious. The guy needs to go.
  • Bryan Braman – For a guy that is on the roster specifically for special teams, he has done nothing to justify his spot. Last year he was the only plus on special teams. This year? Nothing but a bunch of slips.
  • Gary Kubiak – That was some of the worse play calling you could see from a coach. A bunch of 3-6 yards routes, abandon the running game, no plays over 10 yards. Really? You have two great receivers and one of them happens to have one-on-one coverage every play. Throw the ball up to Hopkins! He has proven to be able to get a ball over a cornerback. Use your talent! Terrible play calling all game. Atrocious. Needs to be fixed.
  • Matt Schaub – Sure the play calling was terrible, but so was Schaub. We know he can’t extend plays, and we know he gets scared by pressure even if it’s not there. Not being able to see Daryl Smith on the pick-6 killed all the Texans momentum, and he wasn’t able to make many other throws. The Ravens took away the middle of the field and he wasn’t able to move the ball through the air any other way.
  • Red Zone offense – Two redzone opportunities and two field goals. You won’t win games with those numbers.

 

Interesting Notes Via Twitter

 

The Turning PointNFL: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

Easy to point to the Matt Schaub pick-6 and say that was the key, but I think it was the punt return touchdown by Tandon Doss. Texans down just four with the ball back after the pick-6 and the Texans are forced to punt with under a minute left.

If the Texans can stop a big return, the Ravens likely would have just ran the ball to the end of the half or possibly go for a late FG. Either way the game would have still been a game and the Texans could have felt pretty good about the game. Instead the Texans go down 17-6, get the ball back and decide to throw the ball for more than 10 yards for the first time in the game, get a last second FG, and end the half down just 8. The problem is the Ravens start with the ball in the second half and score a TD just 4 minutes into the second half.

My Final Thoughts

It was a frustrating Sunday for Texans fans. That game was certainly a winnable game for the Texans. They dominated most of the first half but were only able to muster six red zone points in two opportunities. The red zone offense needs major improvement if the Texans want to win games. Two field goals is inexcusable for a playoff-caliber team and those red zone opportunities need to be converted for seven points each and every time.

To say the play-calling was conservative is a massive understatement. The Texans didn’t throw the ball more than around 8 yards on any given play and seemed content to move the ball a few yards and punt. It was a pathetic performance by the head coach and quarterback and it needs to be improved. Next Sunday brings a big test to Reliant Stadium and if they play like they did yesterday, we may see a blowout courtesy of the Seahawks.

 

 

 

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Baltimore Ravens Houston Texans