NFL Nation: 2013 Week 3 HOU at BAL Rapid Reaction
September, 22, 2013
By Tania Ganguli | ESPN.com
BALTIMORE -- Some thoughts after the Houston Texans' 30-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens:
What it means: Before Sunday, the Texans had been lucky to not pay for their mistakes. They recovered from a 21-point third-quarter deficit in San Diego in the opener and an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Titans in Week 2. Sunday's game in Baltimore saw similar mistakes that created those holes, but this time their opponent capitalized. A loss in September could mean nothing if the Texans can recover from it.
Stock watch: Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was able to overcome his own mistakes in the first two games, but this time he faced a Ravens defense that made him pay. A pick-six this week did not precede a gutty touchdown drive. Instead, this week it preceded a four-play drive that ended with a sack on second down, a pass for a loss of 2 on third down and then a punt returned for a touchdown. Schaub's passer rating through three quarters was 68.8 with 19 completions on 27 attempts, two sacks and an interception. Schaub was sacked again midway through the fourth quarter. On a fourth-down play with five minutes to go, Schaub threw a pass well behind Arian Foster when the Texans needed a 2-yard gain.
Andre Johnson hurt: Johnson's body has taken a beating so far this season. He needed an IV in Week 1, but didn't miss any part of the game. He suffered a concussion in Week 2, but returned to play against the Ravens. In Baltimore he left the game just before halftime after getting kicked in the shin. Johnson returned in the second half, but not for long. He finished the game sitting on the bench with ice wrapped to his shin.
Defense has enough: The Texans' defense began the game as stoutly as it had in the first two weeks. But a penalty and explosive plays in the second half kept Houston on the field for a third-quarter touchdown drive that put the Ravens up three scores. The defense was asked to do too much today, placed in a deep hole by the offense and special teams.
What's next: Seattle at home. Then San Francisco on the road. Nope, it doesn't get any easier from here.
September, 22, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
BALTIMORE -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 30-9 win against the Houston Texans:
What it means: The Ravens reasserted themselves as a team to watch in the AFC just two weeks after being embarrassed in Denver. On the strength of defense and special teams, the Ravens handed the Texans their first loss of the season and avenged a 30-point loss in Houston from a year ago. The Ravens remain in first place in the AFC North by improving to 2-1 this season.
Rising: James Ihedigbo. He was the best safety on the field on the day Ed Reed returned to Baltimore. Ihedigbo had nine tackles, including two for losses, two passes defensed (including one on fourth down) and one quarterback hit. Ihedigbo was supposed to be holding the starting spot until rookie Matt Elam was ready, but he has been one of the pleasant surprises for this defense.
Falling: Discipline in the first half. The Ravens were flagged eight times in the first 22 1/2 minutes of the game. The Ravens had too many players on the field on a field-goal attempt, which gave the Texans a first down, and left tackle Bryant McKinnie was called for a facemask penalty twice. But, to the Ravens' credit, they finished with nine.
Replacing Ray: On the day the Ravens inducted Ray Lewis into the Ring of Honor, his replacement made the game-changing play of the game. Daryl Smith jumped a pass to Owen Daniels to pick off Matt Schaub and ran it back 37 yards for the score. Smith's first career interception return for a touchdown put the Ravens, who had struggled on offense, ahead 10-6 late in the second quarter.
Birthday boy: Less than two minutes after Smith's score, Tandon Doss celebrated his 24th birthday with a 82-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was the fifth-longest punt return in Ravens history. Not bad for a player who was cut three weeks ago and was only re-signed when returner Jacoby Jones injured his knee. This capped a spurt in which the Ravens scored 17 points in three minutes, 26 seconds.
What's next: The Ravens (2-1) go on the road with a couple of AFC East trips, at Buffalo on Sunday and at Miami the next week.
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