Ravens 41, Texans 7
Texans vs Ravens: Good, bad and ugly
In a matchup of potential MVP candidates, Deshaun Watson was outdueled by Lamar Jackson as the Ravens smashed the Texans 41-7. Here's how I saw the bloodletting:
-DeAndre Hopkins caught his 600th pass in the first quarter. Hopkins is the second youngest to catch 600 passes behind Larry Fitzgerald and the second fewest games behind Odell Beckham Jr. Incredible company to be listed with, especially considering Hopkins has played with subpar quarterback play most of his career.
-Carlos Hyde's 41-yard touchdown run was the play of the day for the Texans. It was a zone run to the right side of the line. Hyde saw a crease open, hit the hole after a slight cut to his left, and mashed the gas to the end zone. Whether it was lack of care or a business decision, a couple Ravens defenders declined trying to tackle Hyde in the open field. He did juke one defender, but Earl Thomas looked to make a business decision.
-AJ Moore Jr deserves some love. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who signed with the Patriots, but was picked up by the Texans last season, made the 53-man roster, and led the team in special teams tackles. He's leading the team in that category again this year. He made a tackle on a fake field goal in the first quarter on a fourth and four. Special teams players deserves some love, especially those that went undrafted.
-Watson fumbled on their first possession. He managed to escape the pass rush several times while trying to make a play down the field, but was ultimately sacked and fumbled. His ability to escape and make a play got the best of him and it cost the Texans points as they were driving. The Ravens ended up missing the field goal, otherwise this would've been an ugly.
-The ended the first half with only 102 yards of total offense and gave up five sacks. Some of those sacks were on Watson for not getting rid of the ball. The Ravens defense made the Texans offense look completely inept in the first half. That 102 was the lowest in a game started by Watson.
-Missed tackles led to too many big plays for the Ravens. I know Jackson is as slippery as a fresh caught fish dipped in baby oil, but Mark Ingram and Mark Andrews aren't exactly the most nimble or fleet of foot guys. Justin Reid and Zach Cunningham were amongst the most egregious offenders on the Texans defense, but those were the ones I saw look the worst and certainly not alone.
-The NFL needs to do something about the refs not overturning obvious pass interference challenges. DeAndre Hopkins got his jersey pulled, grabbed, and was turned before the ball got there on a shot to the end zone on a fourth and two in the first quarter. How they could watch that play in slow motion and not rule it pass interference is beyond me. Conversely, Lonnie Johnson Jr got called for one early in the third quarter for a slight push to Hollywood Brown.
-It may be time to bring in some other kickers. Ka'imi Fairbairn missed his fifth field goal this season at the end of the first half. A 43-yard field goal isn't a gimme, but it should be far more routine than what it is for Fairbairn. He doesn't have the yips, but it's in his head and his confidence is shot.
-The Texans had just as many point as sacks given up (7). They were outgained by 245 yards and sported a paltry -142 rushing yardage differential. Oh, don't forget the two turnovers committed by Watson. This whole damn game was UGLY!!!
"This game should've been flexed to Sunday Night Football!" "How come they're playing at noon? This is a prime time game!" Yeah, right. This was the kind of game that would have been better off taking place at midnight on a Tuesday in Croatia it was so terrible. The Texans were again outmatched and appeared to be out-coached by a better opponent, They're 0-1 after the first game of a crucial three game stretch of their season. Here's to hoping Thursday Night Football versus the Colts at home turns out much better for them. Time to go back to the drawing board.