Defensive Line: F
It was a brutal day for the front line for the Ravens. The D-line habitually lost the line of scrimmage, as the Texans offense basically did what they wanted since they owned the line of scrimmage. Haloti Ngata’s knee injury was very apparent, as he was barely noticeable and registered only one tackle. Terrence Cody started in place of the injured Maake Kemoeatu and had another forgettable performance with two tackles and did little to plug-up the middle against Arian Foster and the Texans’ rushing attack. The D-line has been a major reason why the Ravens’ defense has fallen down the ranks this season.
The grade is so high only because of the Herculean effort by Terrell Suggs. Evidently T-Sizzle has the healing powers of Wolverine, as he played in a game less than six months after an early-May surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Suggs sacked Matt Schaub on only his seventh snap of the season, announcing his return. Suggs was on the field for 44 total snaps, which was 55 percent of the defensive plays. He had four tackles, two quarterback hits and a pass defended. Dannell Ellerbe stepped into the spot of Ray Lewis and led the team with 12 tackles and a pass defended. The play of Jameel McClain, Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan was mediocre at best.
It was the first game missing ballhawk Lardarius Webb, and the absence was noticeable. Schaub carved up the Ravens, mainly in the first half. The Texans took their foot off the gas pedal in the passing game once the rout was on or else the passing numbers would’ve been much worse. Jimmy Smith was burned bad a couple times, one of which resulted in a Kevin Walter 25-yard touchdown. Bernard Pollard finished in his usual spot as he was second on the team with eight tackles, while Cary Williams also had eight tackles and a sack. The unit clearly needs time to gel without its top cover-corner as the defense searches for an identity.
Defensive Coordinator: F
Dean Pees could do nothing to combat the well-rounded nature of the Texans offense. They couldn’t stop the running game, as they were again dominated to the tune of 181 yards. They also couldn’t stop the passing game as Schaub’s modest overall numbers didn’t accurately show how meticulous he was in shredding the pass defense. Schaub had a passer rating of 100 and he could’ve had a monster game had the Texans not just salted the game away with their rushing game for the majority of the second half. Yes it was the first game without Lewis and Webb, so a bit of a drop-off was expected, but this was a disastrous game for a defense that is no longer feared. Pees must re-tool his defense and turn around a unit that is as disappointing as any unit in the league.