The Texans went to Baltimore hoping to win their third straight and ground a red hot Ravens team. It didn’t happen.
Baltimore ran the ball well behind second year quarterback Lamar Jackson, who also threw with near-surgical precision.
The Ravens defense gave Houston pressure problems all day as they racked up seven sacks. Some of them were because of outstanding coverage downfield.
And this wasn’t the type of opponent against which you could manage through turnovers. Baltimore had two takeaways and multiple big, drive-stopping plays once the Texans crossed midfield.
After one quarter it appeared the Texans could go toe-to-toe with the Ravens. But two long TD drive in the second quarter put Baltimore up 14-0. A missed Houston field goal at the end of the first half combined with another Raven TD drive to start the third quarter solidified the home team’s momentum as the game slipped away from there.
As difficult an afternoon as it was, there can’t be much looking back other than to correct mistakes and make sure everyone is ready for the big test from Indy on Thursday.
Yes, there was a great opportunity to take on the hottest team in the AFC and the Texans didn’t get the job done. But in order to even have the chance to meet them again they’ll have to take care of business and that’s all about winning the AFC South.
The loss technically put the Texans in 2nd, as Indy currently has the tie breaker after a win over Jacksonville. Speaking of the Jags, their loss, with Houston’s means that all the teams who went to London this season are winless after the trips, a combined 0-8.
The Texans need to get back on track on both sides of the ball. The offense took sacks, failed to finish drives and had trouble running the ball. The defense gave up too many rushing yards and didn’t stiffen enough in the red zone. These things weren’t happening while Houston put together back to back wins to get on top of the division.
Under Bill O’Brien, the Texans have done well in bouncing back and they’ll need to do it quickly.
For us watching, Thursday can’t get here fast enough. But for the players and coaches, it compresses everything. Injured players have less time to heal, coaches have less time to plan. But both teams are in the same boat. It’s going to be a real gut check to see who comes out on top and gets the lead in the division heading into the stretch run. A lot of exciting possibilities are out there but it all starts with one job; #BeattheColts.