The Texans thought they had a solid game plan against the Ravens.
Houston did a solid job pressuring quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The Texans defenders were able to effectively keep the running backs from breaking off big plays until the fourth quarter.
Houston wide receiver Brandin Cooks (5 receptions, 95 yards) was able to find space to make plays downfield.
The Ravens still won by 17 points.
“Really, really big victory for us in September,” coach John Harbaugh said. “You know, these September victories, like I told the guys, they count in December, and a win like this is a big win, and very much valued against a very good football team, a well-coached football team on the road. So we’re very proud of this one. I thought our guys kind of ground it out. That was the kind of game it was against a very physical, tough football team.”
It was another workmanlike performance for the Ravens, who managed just three points in the opening quarter. However, their talent and depth showed as the game progressed and the Texans grew increasingly tired.
Late in the second half, the Ravens’ three running backs — Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins — started to reel off huge yards. Ingram put the game out of reach when he took a direct snap on 4th-and-1 and ran 30 yards for a touchdown and a 30-13 lead with 11:58 left in the game.
“The key for me is just to catch the snap and go through my reads,” Ingram said. “The O-line did a tremendous job; I was able to press. [They] set up their blocks and they just created a big seam for me to run through, and I was able to finish the run in the end zone. So, all credit goes to the nine guys that block for me.
“[Jackson] had one guy covering him, so all credit goes to those guys. I was able to see the hole, hit the hole and finish the run.”
Jackson had another efficient game, completing 18 of 24 pass attempts for 204 yards with a touchdown. He also ran for 54 yards on 16 carries. He didn’t make any spectacular plays with spin moves and his longest pass was 29 yards, but he led the team to another victory.
Overall, the Ravens finished with 407 total yards, compared to 304 for the Texans.
“I feel good,” said Jackson, who was sacked four times. “But, you know, there’s still some passes that I want back. But that’s what I’m going to get at when I get out there on the practice field, that’s when the mechanics and throws that I want or didn’t have in the game, that’s when that takes over. It starts in practice.”
The victory set up a huge Monday night showdown with the defending Super-Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium minus the fans. The Ravens have lost to the Chiefs in the past two seasons on the road, and this matchup is being hyped as the best game of the regular season.
“We’re going to get back to work,” safety DeShon Elliott said. “It’s one game at a time, so we had to get through Houston first. We got that ‘dub,’ so now we’re going to enjoy this win, but tomorrow, it’s time to get back to working – time to get back to ‘KC.’
“They have a … Obviously, you all know, he’s a fantastic quarterback. Patrick [Mahomes]; that’s one of my good friends, so I’m ready to play him – ready to go against him. It’s going to be a great game, so everybody tune in to that. It’s going to be a fantastic game.”