Last Sunday, the Ravens improved their record to 5-3 with a 37-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns. The first score of the game was on a 41-yard field goal from K Matt Stover. Next, the Ravens took a 10-0 lead on a 47 yard pass from Ravens QB Joe Flacco to WR Mark Clayton. Then the Browns got momentum on a 92-yard kick return for a touchdown by KR Joshua Cribbs. The Browns then tied up the game on a 23-yard field goal from K Phil Dawson. The Ravens took the lead back, however, on a 32-yard field goal by Matt Stover. But the Browns tied the game up at 13 on a 54-yard field goal from Dawson going into halftime. The first score of the second half was a 28-yard pass from Browns QB Derek Anderson to WR Braylon Edwards. The Browns then extended their lead to 27-13 on a 7 yard pass from Derek Anderson to RB Jason Wright. Then the Ravens got going. First, Ravens RB Le’Ron McClain made it a one possession game with a 1-yard TD run. Next, Joe Flacco found WR Derrick Mason for a 28-yard touchdown to tie the game up at 27. The Ravens then took the lead on a 22-yard field goal by Stover. The victory was sealed when Ravens LB Terrell Suggs picked off an Anderson pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown (it was Suggs second touchdown of the season).
Player of the Game: Ravens RB Ray Rice- 21 rushes, 154 rushing yards, 3 catches, 22 receiving yards.
Next week, the Ravens will face the 3-5 Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston. This game was originally supposed to be played in Week 2, but Hurricane Ike damaged the stadium, and it was rescheduled for this week. The Ravens are 2-0 all-time against the Texans. Texans starting QB Matt Schaub is out with an injury, so the Ravens will face one of the most experienced backups in the NFL, Sage Rosenfels. Texans DE Mario Williams is third in the NFL in sacks with 22 since 2007. The Ravens defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 27 games, the longest current streak in the NFL. But they will meet their match on Sunday, facing rookie RB Steve Slaton, who has rushed for 538 yards and 5 touchdowns this season. The Ravens will also have to go up against one of the best pass offenses in the NFL, with WR Andre Johnson leading the way with an NFL high 834 receiving yards. The Ravens pass defense will be without Pro Bowl CB Chris McAlister, so expect the Texans to pass a lot, since the Ravens rush defense is the best in the NFL. I expect a great game, but the Ravens will come out on top, 34-24.
Suggestion: The Ravens will have to find a way to stop the Texans pass offense. Expect S Ed Reed to be around the ball a lot.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Texans
Ravens RB Ray Rice vs. Texans LB DeMeco Ryans Edge: Ryans
Ravens RT Adam Terry vs. Texans DE Mario Williams Edge: Williams
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Texans CB Fred Bennett Edge: Mason
Ravens CB Samari Rolle vs. Texans WR Andre Johnson Edge: Johnson
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Texans QB Sage Rosenfels Edge: Lewis
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Texans TE Owen Daniels Edge: Suggs
Player Injury Status
S Dawan Landry Neck OUT
CB Chris McAlister Knee OUT
TE Daniel Wilcox Illness/Thigh DBT
CB Samari Rolle Neck QST
LB Bart Scott Chest QST
T Jared Gaither Neck/Knee PRB
FB Le’Ron McClain Ankle PRB
RB Willis McGahee Ankle PRB
DL Brandon McKinney Shoulder PRB
RB Ray Rice Chest PRB
T Adam Terry Knee PRB
Player Injury Status
WR Andre Davis Finger OUT
QB Matt Schaub Knee OUT
DT Amobi Okoye Ankle DBT
RB Ahman Green Thigh PRB
LB DeMeco Ryans Shoulder PRB
LB Chaun Thompson Thigh PRB
WR Kevin Walter Unknown PRB
AFC North Standings
Team W L
Steelers 6 2
Ravens 5 3
Browns 3 6
Bengals 1 8
AFC North Outlook: With a Steelers loss and a Ravens win, the Steelers and Ravens would be tied for the division lead. The Steelers face the Colts in Pittsburgh. The Browns lost to the Broncos, 34-30, on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals have their bye week.
Well, that’s it for this week’s version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week, let’s go kick the Texans’ butts!