Ravens 17, Texans 10 Baltimore made a last-minute drive to get some points before the break, but Flacco couldn’t get the ball any closer than the 35-yard line. Of course, Justin Tucker is money from long distance and made a 53-yard attempt look easy.
Ravens 14, Texans 10 Despite losing Miller, the Texans got a handful of critical third-down conversions to get in field goal range towards the end of the half, with huge plays from Hopkins and Alfred Blue. A roughing-the-passer call and Ellington screen put them at the 4-yard line, but they couldn’t find a touchdown and settled for the 25-yard field goal.
Miller went down in a heap after getting shoved out of bounds and left the game with a leg injury, in what would be a significant loss for the Texans. D’Onta Foreman is already out for the year and newly claimed Andre Ellington is inactive.
Ravens 14, Texans 7 The Ravens went for it on fourth down and flipped the ball outside to Alex Collins, who took it 28 yards down to to the 8. Collins hit paydirt on the next play and Baltimore now has 14 unanswered points.
Savage, who’s been surprisingly decent for most of the game, made his first terrible mistake, throwing an interception straight into double coverage. The Ravens have all the momentum now.
Texans 7, Ravens 7 Business picked up after the fake punt. Javorious Allen dragged about half the Texan’s defense into the end zone and finally got Baltimore some points, tying this game up.
The Ravens’ offense stalled at midfield again, but John Harbaugh whipped out a fake punt that worked perfectly. Truly an elite throw by Sam Koch.
Houston punted again, with the offense grinding to a halt after a promising opening drive.
Not much happened to close out the quarter, but the Ravens broke out this nifty sack dance after Terrell Suggs dropped Savage.
As if the Ravens’ offense didn’t have enough problems, left tackle Ronnie Stanley went down with an injury.
Baltimore got into enemy territory with an important third-down conversion, as Mike Wallace took a short slant 24 yards. However, they went backwards with a pair of bad plays and the crowd started booing as they punted from midfield.
Texans 7, Ravens 0 The Texans got deep into scoring position, thanks to big passes from Savage to DeAndre Hopkins and Bruce Ellington. Hopkins later drew pass interference on Brandon Carr, setting up Houston at the 4-yard line. Lamar Miller punched it in to get the Texans on the board.
The Ravens went three-and-out after Jadeveon Clowney made his presence felt, forcing Flacco into a bad pass on third down.
The Baltimore Ravens have been as up-and-down as any team in football season, but at 5-5 they’re still alive and well in the playoff race. They’ll try to get back over .500 when they take on the Houston Texans Monday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN (live stream at WatchESPN).
The Ravens’ defense is the chief reason why they have five wins. They have three shutout victories this season, the most recent one being a 23-0 win over the Green Bay Packers last week. That defense has been good enough to keep the Ravens competitive, even while Joe Flacco scuffles through a career-worst season.
Through ten games, Flacco has a paltry nine touchdown passes, while throwing 11 interceptions and averaging 5.4 yards per attempt. He also has three lost fumbles on the year. The Ravens’ offense has become a station-to-station unit, leaning on Alex Collins and Javorious Allen in the run game while utilizing short dumpoff passes and relying on Justin Tucker to score points. It’s probably not a sustainable formula, but the defense gives Baltimore a puncher’s chance of playing in January.
The Texan’s dream season evaporated in a flash when Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. They’ve gone 1-2 without Watson, while Tom Savage remains one of the worst starting quarterbacks in football.
Savage was actually not terrible last week, guiding the Texans to a 31-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals. However, he threw an interception and got strip-sacked again, which has become a common theme for the lead-footed Savage. Over five games, he already has six lost fumbles and three interceptions, showing a total lack of care with the ball.
Quarterback isn’t the only position with injury woes. Running back D’onta Foreman tore his Achilles, leaving the run game without a change-of-pace back. Will Fuller is still out with a rib injury and DeAndre Hopkins (the reason Savage looked semi-good last week) is questionable with a foot ailment. It’s been that kind of year for the Texans, who were close to building something special before everyone got hurt.
At 4-6, Houston isn’t out of the Wild Card race yet. In fact, they can pick up an important head-to-head tiebreaker with a win over Baltimore. But that might be easier said than done with the Ravens’ defense licking its chops against Savage.
Regardless, Baltimore needs their offense to be more aggressive. The Ravens ‘dink and dunk’ offense is not working . The wild-card race is starting to heat up and Baltimore will desperately need their offense to come alive in the final stretch of the season.
- It’s tempting to compare this Ravens team to the 2015 Denver Broncos, but they’re not nearly the same team.
All in all, the 2017 Ravens and 2015 Broncos both were built on defense leading the team. However, Denver’s 2015 offense at least provided some help along the way to the Super Bowl. The offense of the 2017 Ravens has provided no such aid to the defense. The Ravens offensive shortcomings are significantly more pronounced than that Broncos team. No matter how well the Ravens defense plays, if the Ravens offense stays this bad, then the Ravens will get nowhere in the playoffs, if they even make it. In the Ravens’ five wins this season, only once has the opponent scored more than 10 points (17 for the Raiders in Week 5). The defense can’t be expected to pitch a shutout every week. This defense is good, but it’s not historically good. The defense can’t take the Ravens anywhere alone.
There is a certain artistic merit in how Tom Savage plays quarterback. Not in his completions or the magnificent throws in tight windows we’ve come to expect from better quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Matt Schaub, Brian Hoyer, and the homeless person standing on the corner who’s always telling you that there’s a radio in his brain. There’s no merit to that. But if you watch Savage get strip-sacked, hoo boy, you will have yourself a fine old time.
You have to know what to look for in a strip sack. On the surface, a strip sack is just losing the football in one of the most embarrassing plays in sports; below that surface, however, there are far deeper nuances to each subtle move. Much like a hula, each movement is a part of a greater story that we never see because we’re too busy throwing leaf-covered buffalo wings at the television when it happens…not that this has happened, mind you; I’m just guessing.