Schaub: 'I've just got to be better for this football team'
The Texans didn’t bring their magic with them to Baltimore.
After winning their first two games of the season in extremely dramatic fashion – they won both on the final play of the game – the Texans went down early to the Ravens and never recovered in a 30-9 loss on Sunday.
The Texans were in the game early and outplayed the Ravens in the first half. They outgained them 157-65 and controlled the ball for 18:21 but trailed 17-9 and didn't even make a second-half run.
The Texans actually took an early 6-0 lead but failed to get touchdowns out of drives, allowing kicker Randy Bullock to kick a 27- and 29-yarders. Bullock made all three of his field goal attempts.
The Ravens took their first lead of the game when former Jaguar Darryl Smith picked off a bad Matt Schaub pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. After their next drive stalled, Ravens returner Tandon Doss returned Shane Lechler’s 58-yard punt 82 yards to extend the Ravens’ lead.
The Texans’ offense didn’t get much going on Sunday. The team scored just nine points and didn’t score an offensive touchdown for the first time since their game against the Vikings last year. That was the only game in 2012 in which they didn’t score an offensive touchdown.
With 14 penalties for 113 yards, the Texans played an extremely sloppy game against the Ravens, who weren’t much better, with 10 penalties for 87 yards of their own. The Texans’ 14 penalties tied a franchise record set in 2002.
Ed Reed made his season debut on Sunday and he did it against his former team. He made a few tackles in his first game action.
The turning point
The Doss punt return touchdown was huge. Lechler boomed a punt down the field but instead of winning the field position game, the Texans failed to make a tackle and allowed the game to get away from them. That extended the lead to 11 points.
What it means
The Texans are now are 2-1. After escaping late deficits in the first two games of the season, they couldn’t escape on Sunday in Baltimore. The Texans are 2-1 but there’s plenty of reason to worry. While they won the first two games in comeback fashion, they could very well be 0-3 and now they have two extremely difficult games up next.
Andre Johnson left the game early with a shin bruise. He tried to return but then shut it down for the day. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Johnson's X-rays were negative. He returned this week after being knocked out of Week 2 with a concussion.
There weren’t many candidates on Sunday. The Texans amassed just 264 yards of offense and the run game struggled to get going. But DeAndre Hopkins had another solid game, catching six passes for 60 yards.
While much of the focus heading into the week centered around left tackle Duane Brown, who didn’t make the trip because of a toe injury, his replacement Ryan Harris wasn’t the biggest problem on the line. Instead right tackle Derek Newton struggled mightily against the Ravens. He was overmatched all afternoon. But it wasn’t just Newton. The line as a unit wasn’t very good.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. J.J. Watt was really good on Sunday. His sack to start the third quarter looked like it might have changed the momentum but it didn’t. Torrey Smith beat Johnathan Joseph down the sideline for a big first down. Watt had nine tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss.
Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph gave up big plays again. This is something they’ve struggled with in the past couple seasons and it happened again on Sunday. Jackson was flagged for a couple of pass interferences and Joseph gave up a huge first down to Smith.
Did you know?
When Gary Kubiak challenged a ruled catch on the field in the third quarter, he won his third challenge of the season. In the third week of the season, he’s already tied the franchise record for challenges won in a season.
The Texans lost a winnable game in Baltimore and the next few games don’t get any easier. They’re back home next week but they have to play the Seahawks, one of – if not the – best teams in the league. After that, they’re on the road to face the 49ers. The Seahawks and Niners are considered two of the better teams in the NFL.