The day didn't quite go as Texans fans wanted, but there were some bright spots to say the least. Here are a handful of Big Plays for my Big Play Breakdown in the 25-9 loss to Baltimore in week one.
1st Quarter - 7:26 remaining
3rd and six
+16 yard line
The Ravens took over on a short field after the Texans couldn't convert on fourth down on the previous Texans drive. However, the Texans defense held strong, forcing the Ravens into a key third and six early in the game. Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson's offense motioned into a bunch set on the right side with a lone receiver to the near side. Jackson wanted dynamic rookie Zay Flowers on a crosser but Steven Nelson was right in his hip pocket all the way across the field. Making things really difficult for Jackson was the stunt that the Texans brought to the party. Will Anderson Jr. and Jerry Hughes lined up on the same side of the field, but Anderson looped HARD inside Ravens right guard Kevin Zeitler. Because LB Denzel Perryman and Christian Harris rushed from the opposite side, there were no bodies inside to help on Anderson Jr. The rookie from Alabama forced Jackson to back up and Lamar got nothing on the throw to Flowers. Nelson's great coverage put him in position to bump Flowers out of the way and snatch the first interception of the season. Great rush and great coverage working together.
3rd quarter - 4:26 remaining
3rd and two
-33 yard line
Ravens ahead 22-6, Texans with a drive going.
The Texans put QB C.J. Stroudin the shotgun with a 11 personnel, 2x2 formation on the field. The Ravens were moving all over the place but the OL picked up the rush perfectly. Stroud had a clean pocket, but he wasn't going to hang out there long because Nico Collins did a masterful job on his slant route. He MUST get inside the cover guy and he did as soon as he turned up the field. Stroud didn't hold the ball long at all and zipped one to Nico as soon as the big receiver turned his head. Collins held on for a 13 yard gain and a key first down. That's the way that play SHOULD ABSOLUTELY look and the hook up generated a first down to keep that key third down drive rolling.
4th Quarter - 10:36 remaining
3rd and ten
-37 yard line
Ravens ahead 22-9
The Ravens got in the shotgun with 11 personnel in a 3x1 look with two receivers and a TE to the left side and a lone X receiver to the near side. The Texans loaded the left side of the formation to get one-on-ones on the offensive right side. On the snap, Texans DE Will Anderson Jr took off like a shot, low, LOW to the ground, under the pads of Ravens hulking RT Morgan Moses. Will got underneath the tackle's pads and forced Ravens QB Lamar Jackson to scoot up in the pocket as Anderson chased. But, Anderson never gave up after his first attempt to grab Jackson didn't come to fruition. He immediately popped up from his knees and ran down Lamar for a big sack to end that fourth quarter drive for the Ravens. What a play and what a player he's going to be in the future, my goodness.