Ed Reed: Texans 'rattled' Joe Flacco

Updated: January 18, 2012, 12:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens barely escaped the divisional round with their playoff lives, totaling just 227 yards on offense -- 109 after halftime -- in an ugly 20-13 win over Houston on Sunday.

The top-seeded New England Patriots -- they of the 45-10 runaway victory over Tim Tebow's Broncos -- lay in wait for Baltimore on Sunday. Ravens safety Ed Reed says Flacco will have to be better if the Ravens are to beat New England and earn the franchise's first Super Bowl berth since 2000.

"I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit by (Houston's) defense," Reed said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, according to ProFootballTalk. "(The Texans) had a lot of guys in the box on him. And, I mean, they were getting to him. I think a couple times he needed to get rid of the ball. I don't know how much of the play-calling ... but it just didn't look like he had a hold on the offense. ... It was just kind of like (Baltimore's coaches) was telling him to do, throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys. And he can't play like that."

Flacco was sacked five times and hurried by Texans defenders more than that in the win. Reed said Tuesday part of the blame for that falls on Baltimore's offensive line.

"[T]he offensive line gotta block better," Reed said, according to ProFootballTalk. "You know, they gotta communicate better, gotta pick up blocks (and) Joe's gotta get the ball out of his hand."

Reed said the Ravens need to do a better job of "using our weapons" and said he thought backup running back Ricky Williams should have had more touches.

"You know, one particular play that sticks out to me is when (Pro Bowl running back) Ray Rice came out of the backfield, he got pushed down and Flacco still threw him the ball and you got one on one with (wide receiver) Torrey Smith on the outside," Reed told SiriusXM, according to ProFootballTalk. "But it's hearsay for me. I can say that sitting on the sidelines, you know, or sitting in the stands. You just never know what somebody else is seeing."

The Ravens went three-and-out eight times Sunday, averaged 2.8 yards per rush and scored only three points over the final 46 minutes. Baltimore's lack of offense allowed the Texans -- led by rookie third-string quarterback T.J. Yates -- to stay close until the game's final possession.

Reed said a key to beating New England will be the ability of the entire Ravens team to make "in-game adjustments."

"It's not just coming up with a scheme and playing the game. You gotta be able to make adjustments while the game is in the flow," Reed said Monday, according to ProFootballTalk.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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