The Baltimore Ravens punt, Jacoby waves it off and then gets the bright ideal to “try” to pluck it off of the bounce. It bounces off of his hands and the Ravens recover the ball inside their own 5 yard line. This was the turning point of the game. They had to only go 2 yards for a Joe Flacco TD, putting them up 7-3. This was the first mistake of many for the Houston Texans.
Rookie QB T.J Yates has rarely looked like a rookie and has showed composure and confidence since stepping in as the starting quarterback. But today against the Ravens he reminded us all that he is still a rookie. Although the ravens did not record a single sack on Yates he still threw three interceptions, his first – which was the most costly – was a pass to Andre Johnson who was well covered. This gave the Ravens the ball at the Texans 35 yard line. Five plays later Flacco hit WR Anquan Bolden for a 10 yard touchdown, putting the Ravens up 17-3.
The defense held their own all game long, and in my mind proved to the NFL that they are a top defense. Holding the Ravens to a total of 227 yards. They also shut down the Ravens potent run game holding Ray Rice to 60 yards on 21 carries. The defense did everything possible to win this game, although they did not force any turnovers they sacked Joe Flacco five times. They had pressure on him all game long. Rookie defensive-end J.J Watt turned in a very solid performance with nine tackles and 2.5 sacks on the day. The defense gave us a chance to win the game but the offense just could not get it done.
Although the offense moved the ball well all game long they just could not put any points on the board. RB Arian Foster gained 127 yards on 27 carries and scored the Texans lone TD of the game. Andre Johnson caught 8 passes for 111 yards, but it just wasn’t enough, as the offense could only manage 13 points on the day.
People will look back and blame this loss on Rookie QB T.J Yates and WR Jacoby Jones. Yates is a rookie and he did better than most thought he would, I see a bright future for the young man. Jacoby Jones on the other hand is a veteran and he cannot afford to make bone headed plays in the playoffs. Watching him return punts is like watching Nascar, you know what they are going to do the whole time. North-and-south is what gets you touchdowns, not east-and-west. How much different would things have been if QB Matt Schaub had not been lost for the season?
We can look back on this game and think of what could of been. But this team went a lot further than most people thought they would, and we should all be proud of our Houston Texans. We have a bright future ahead of us, and this is just the beginning.
Next week we will relive the top 15 moments of the Houston Texans 2011 season.