Joe Flacco had a historically bad game against the Texans’ seventh-rated pass defense. Despite 43 attempts, Flacco threw for only 147 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. At halftime, he had 50 yards and those two interceptions. His QBR of 0.3 (0-100 scale) is the lowest by any quarterback since 2008, so this historically bad performance registers the lowest grade possible. Flacco now heads into the Ravens’ bye week with a string of poor performances, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in his past four games. Flacco had happy feet all day and was way off on most his attempts. He was clearly rattled and basically rolled into the fetal position as the Texans ran away with the game.
Running Backs: B
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Ray Rice was again severely under-utilized in Sunday’s debacle. Yes, the game got ugly score-wise, but the Ravens had some control of that. The Ravens actually gained 45 yards on their first drive, as Rice was a major part of that drive. Despite leads of 3-0 and 3-2, Cam Cameron kept forcing the pass. The results were devastating, as the passing game was horrendous. Thus, it was a light day for the running backs once the game got out of hand. Rice had a mere nine carries, and had a solid 4.7 yards-per-carry. Rice’s 42 yards was his lowest rushing total for the season. Again, the Ravens were severely out-rushed despite a solid yards-per-carry. Rice played well overall, but his efforts were far too small to matter in this game.
Wide Receivers: C
Flacco deserves a lot of the blame for the failures of the passing game, but the receivers did little to help their struggling quarterback. Torrey Smith led all pass-catchers with 44 yards, and Anquan Boldin didn’t catch a ball until the fourth quarter. Tandon Doss had the only Ravens’ touchdown of the day on a nice athletic play. He took a receiver-screen pass 15 yards for the score, but that was his only grab of the game. It was one of the more creative passing plays the Ravens have had all season. Overall, the receivers weren’t the problem, but they also weren’t a solution.
Tight Ends: D
Dennis Pitta had another Dennis Pitta-like game. His 33 yards matched his total from last week, which is also his high for his past four games. Most of Pitta’s yards came on the Ravens’ final drive of the first half when the Texans’ defense was in prevent mode. Ed Dickson had his usual effort, reeling in one pass for five yards. He was actually targeted five times, a season high, but he did little with those precious targets.
Offensive Line: D
The positive was the run blocking. The problem was there was only 12 rushing attempts. The line was going against a stout defense, led by J.J. Watt, so the four sacks allowed wasn’t a total shock, especially when you consider how many times the Ravens’ aimlessly threw the ball. The real problem was the Texans’ defense swatting down passes. Houston had a staggering 11 passes defended, as they disrupted the passing game besides the usual pressure and sacks. Kelechi Osemele appeared to have sustained a serious injury after he got carted off, but returned in the second half so that was great to see. Overall the unit was asked to do too much as the Ravens’ huge deficit meant their offense became one-dimensional, which allowed the Texans athletic defense to release the dogs.
Offensive Coordinator: F
Cam Cameron again set his offense up to fail. Instead of staying with the run early when you could sense the momentum changing, Cameron stubbornly forced the passing game, which he has done for long stretches of the season. Once things got out of hand, the Ravens were forced to pass with limited results. The Ravens had chances to try to retain control of the game early on, but the pass-happy offense was routinely in third-and-long, as the offense went a paltry 4-for-15 on third down overall. After a good run-pass mix on the opening drive totaling 45 yards, the Ravens then accumulated 47 yards on the next eight drives combined as the game got away from them. Cameron needs to re-evaluate his approach during the bye week.