The Ravens defense put on a workmanlike performance in front of the home crowd. The defense continues to demonstrate that they are a significant upgrade over the defense the Ravens put on the field last year. Let’s stop all the comparisons to the defense that won the Super Bowl in 2000. In football terms that was a long time ago and with all the rules changes since then it’s probably not even possible to develop such a defense. The Ravens defense is becoming what all defenses aspire to be and especially those playing in the National Football League–violent, aggressive, and punishing. I say, “becoming” because this is the NFL and there are still Eleven weeks remaining in the season.
The offense once again had moments of excitement, while also demonstrating how it can be quite ineffective. Some of those moments of excitement occurred midway through the first quarter when Joe Flacco marched 97 yards into the end zone to put the Ravens on the board. On this drive only one pass bounced on the turf. Flacco completed seven of eight passes. The remaining three quarters was a tale of two Flaccos. One makes some really beautiful throws while the other fumbles the ball and looks confused and indecisive. There are moments during every game when Flacco is often called upon to make a play. One of those moments was a 51-yard pass play to Torrey Smith. This is a nice little pass catch relationship beginning to develop between quarterback and rookie receiver.
This win was a team victory against a very good opponent. Five field goals by Billy Cundiff sent this game into the win column. In addition, in the course of performing his duties on the kickoff team at least three of his balls went off the green. I think “off the green “ is a term golfers may use to describe a ball, which has gone way outside the area of competition. The defense made plays when they had to. The offense clicked when it counted at the end of the game when Ray Rice was still fresh and the Texans defense was worn down.
Sitting atop the AFC North at 4-1 the Ravens are in a good place at this point in the season. Their next two opponents have a combined record of 2-9. Then it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday night football.