Fast starts a trademark of Ravens, Texans

Both teams have dominated opponents in first quarter

October 13, 2011|By Edward Lee

When the Ravens and Houston Texans meet Sunday, the outcome could be decided in the first quarter.

That’s because both teams have dominated their opponents in the opening frame this season. The Ravens have outscored their opponents, 52-7, in the first quarter, and Joe McKnight’s 107-yard kick return for a touchdown in the Ravens’ 34-17 victory over the New York Jets on Oct. 2 was the first touchdown the Ravens had surrendered in the opening frame.

“I think anytime teams want to give you the ball, you have to get out there and go try to put points on the board as soon as you can,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “We’ve been able to do that – whether it has been on our offense or our defense starting fast to get us that ball. We want to start fast each week. Especially this week, I think it is even more important just because Houston has been starting pretty quick themselves. We want to get out and put pressure on them right away.”

The Texans have been just as prolific in the first quarter, outscoring their opponents, 47-6. Houston has scored on each of its last four opening possessions, including touchdowns in the last three contests.

“They’ve scored 24 points in their first five drives,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh noted. “And defensively, too, they’re the only team that’s shut out their opponent on the first drive. That’s five out of five. They’ve jumped out to big leads in the first quarter, big leads in the first half. We’ve done pretty well in the first quarter, too. So something has got to give. It’s going to be really important, I think, to start the game well. Both teams are going to try to do that.”

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