When looking for inspired efforts in dealing with a prolific Baltimore Ravens offense, the Texans need to search no further than in their own archives.
In Week 16 of 2014, Houston hosted the Ravens who were equipped with their best offense of the John Harbaugh era. The coordinator was former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who was working magic with Joe Flacco and company.
The Texans were hurting at the quarterback spot and dipped into the Rams practice squad for former Kubiak pupil Case Keenum, who was to become the fourth QB to take snaps for Houston that season.
Bill O’Brien opened the game creatively with Keenum throwing six times and Arian Foster taking two direct snaps. Foster would eventually throw a touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz.
And Romeo Crennel’s defense played an inspired game, holding the Ravens to just 33 rushing yards and picking off Flacco three times. Baltimore put up a season low-tying 13 points. This was a Ravens team that would beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs and lose to New England, scoring 30 or more points in both games.
It’s five years later. Everything is different. The Texans have only three position players left from that game. The Ravens have six.
But, as Houston prepares to face the hottest Ravens team in years, it’s worth reminiscing about that fun and productive December afternoon against the same franchise, in O’Brien’s first season here.