At First Glance: Ravens vs. Texans


John Eisenberg:  The Ravens should burn this game film. Actually, maybe they shouldn't. Their lopsided loss will remind them that, despite their winning record, they have a lot to work on if they're going to beat quality teams that don't self-destruct. Joe Flacco was brutal. He was off target, seemingly unsettled in the pocket, forced a lot of throws and had five passes batted down at the line. It didn't help that his offensive line couldn't keep the Texans' pass rush away, or that the coaches made little effort to establish the run. Meanwhile, the defense was pushed around again, this time yielding equally against the pass and the run. The unit was given a boost by Terrell Suggs' return, as Suggs had a sack and showed he will be a force again once he's in shape. But overall, the defense gave little indication that it can stop a top offense.

Ryan Mink:  Just an atrocious game for the Ravens. I don't know whether it's good or bad to go into the bye now. This will stew in Baltimore for a couple weeks, yet there's time to make corrections. And man oh man there are a lot of them. This offense has to figure out how to perform on the road. The Ravens have protection issues and aren't executing on third down. The defense still has tackling issues, penalty problems and general sloppy play at times. The silver lining is Terrell Suggs' return, and specifically his high level of play. And Justin Tucker continues to kick well. But other than that, there's really not much good to say. Not having Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb definitely hurts. But I don't think that can be blamed for this beat down. Hey, the Texans took one on the chin like this last week. And look how they responded. The Ravens are still in good position at 5-2, but they'll need to rebound and quite frankly, just get better.

Garrett Downing:This loss was about as bad as it could have been for the Ravens. The Texans dominated both sides of the ball and cruised to a blowoutvictory to establish themselves as the clear-cut leader of the AFC. The loss drops the Ravens to 5-2 heading into a much-needed bye week. A key concern for the Ravens at this point is the performance of the offense in a hostile road environment. For the second straight road game, the offense struggled to move the football and put the defense in tough spots. An early safety and pick six put the Ravens in a hole that they couldn't overcome, and the offense went the entire first half without converting on a third down. The bright spot was the return of Terrell Suggs, who showed that he can still make a difference when he's in the game. The Ravens have plenty to work on after this game, and the good news is that they have an extra week to do so before a Week 9 matchup in Cleveland.

Sarah Ellison:  This was a disastrous game for the Ravens in every nearly every way (Terrell Suggs' return was the bright spot).  The offensive woes on the road are starting to become a trend, scoring just one touchdown in the last 10 quarters on the road. Joe Flacco's unit has to figure out a way to operate in the hurry-up with a noisy crowd and relentless defense against it. You'd like to pinpoint a single problem, but it was a complete meltdown on offense – the protection was poor, Flacco was hit and shaken up early and became inaccurate at times, tips at the line of scrimmage, run-pass imbalance (partly because Baltimore was playing from behind), and the offense even gave up nine of the 29 points allowed in the first half (the most allowed in five years). Injuries continue to threaten and will be a storyline all week for Ed Reed, Kelechi Osemele and Haloti Ngata. They all returned, but you wonder how much pain they're playing through. Suggs' unbelievable return (he started and played a ton, notching a sack, a pass defensed and four tackles) and this week's bye may be enough for Ravens fans to hold onto hope that things will be OK.  In the end, Baltimore is still in good position at 5-2, ranked second in the AFC and still leading the division. I wouldn't be surprised if these two teams met up again in the postseason.

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