3 reasons the Houston Texans lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs

Why did the Houston Texans lose to the Baltimore Ravens?
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

So....that was painful to watch. The Houston Texans' magical season ended in tragic fashion, watching the Baltimore Ravens stomp the Texans into a fine paste for nearly four full quarters. This was not a team that was able to hang with the No. 1 seeded Ravens as we all hoped.

But why? That's the question so many people are asking. The answer is ultimately simple; the Ravens were just better, but the reasons for that answer are a bit more profound and nuanced than that. So we're going to look at the three core reasons why the Texans were unable to upset the Ravens on Saturday night.

1. The Offensive line failed

The offensive line and C.J. Stroud were able to keep their quarterback's jersey clean, sure. Yet, they didn't have the strength or ability to move the Ravens' defense as needed to open up running lanes for Devin Singletary. This has been a long-standing issue that the Texans have faced all season, and it was exacerbated by the Ravens' stout defense. Without a running game, it became obvious what the Texans would do, and that made the offense one-dimensional.

2. The Houston Texans didn't have anyone to keep Lamar Jackson in check

Facing the Ravens involves having to keep an eye on Lamar Jackson all game long. That means taking one of your 11 players and having them spy on Jackson the entire game. Maybe you alternate between two different players, but the point was to have someone who could swarm Jackson if he tried to run. This was something the Texans did try to do, just not as frequently or successfully as needed.

3. The defense didn't do what they've done well all season

The Houston Texans' defense was sixth in the NFL in fewest rushing yards given up all of the NFL during the regular season. They gave up just 95.6 yards per game and were seen as one of the best run-stoppers in the league. The Ravens ran for 2.3 times that amount; posting a whopping 229 yards against the stout Texans defense. It wasn't just a lack of tackling, either. The elusiveness of Jackson allowed the Ravens to tack on an additional 100 yards, and that is a major reason why the Ravens were able to move the ball so well. It wasn't an air assault from Jackson, it rarely ever is, but what he does well was something he did very well against the Texans.

Next. Houston Texans deserve praise even after losing in the Divisional Round. Houston Texans deserve praise even after losing in the Divisional Round. dark