Ravens Reports Card

Ravens Gameday

November 10, 2008|By DAVID STEELE



Joe Flacco led an offense that protected the ball, capitalized on the chances the defense gave it and sustained great drives. He took shots downfield even with a depleted receiving corps. Troy Smith keeps proving he belongs on the field.



Too many penalties in the first half lowered its score, but the line had another fine day run-blocking. It kept Flacco mostly upright. (Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans were almost invisible.)



With more depth, Derrick Mason would likely not have returned in the second half with his shoulder injury. When he did, he looked like himself. Todd Heap was back to being a scary two-way threat. Mark Clayton was solid.



Willis McGahee got better as the game went on and had his best finish this season. Le'Ron McClain was automatic on short yardage. Ray Rice wasn't much of a factor, but he didn't need to be.



The pass rush improved as the game progressed and was instrumental in Houston's coming away from two trips inside the 5 with only three points. Haloti Ngata was a force.



What they did to every aspect of the Texans' offense was unfair. Along with the line, the linebackers took the running game out of the picture. Ray Lewis got two room-service interceptions to go with eight tackles.



The secondary got hit with two bombs, to Jacoby Jones in the first half and Kevin Walter (for a touchdown) in the second. It did keep Andre Johnson fairly quiet. The front seven made the job easier.



Punter Sam Koch (no returns on four kicks, 45.0-yard net, three inside the 20) and kicker Steve Hauschka (deep kickoffs, 54-yard field goal) earned their checks this week. The kickoff coverage was better.

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