The Baltimore Ravens advanced to 4-1 overall so far this season, keeping their lead atop the AFC North division after beating the Houston Texans, 29-14, on Oct. 16 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

The Ravens put on a balanced show, controlling the game on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Their offensive unit moved up the field to score when needed and their defensive unit kept Houston (3-3 overall) in check throughout most of the contest.

Baltimore’s special teams also dominated, helping give the Ravens the edge in the battle for field position and scoring opportunities. Baltimore was able to record 402 total yards and score points on six separate possessions against the Texans, one of the National Football Leagues top-10 defenses, while also holding an offense ranked number eight in the league far below their average for points scored per game.

“It was just one of them kind of games…emotional from the beginning to the end,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It was against a really good opponent. I hope everyone realized what a good win that is, and what a good team is.”

Most Outstanding Player(s) of the Game:
Ravens fourth-year running back Ray Rice continues to serve as the team’s best and most consistent weapon, recording 161 total yards from scrimmage, 101 gained on the ground and 60 gained through the air. Rice really got the running game going when needed the most, late in the game as he rushed for more than 50 yards in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.

Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin also put on perhaps his best performance of the season, hauling in eight passes for 132 yards, including a 56-yard catch in the third quarter that helped Baltimore regain the lead. But Boldin said putting up big stats is no big deal to him anymore.

“I think for me, I’m past that,” Boldin said. “My whole career has been built around that. I’m just to the point now where I just want to win the championship. Whatever that takes, I’m going to do it.”

Unsung Hero of the Game:
The Ravens only scored two touchdowns in the game, but still managed to score nearly 30 points against one of the best defensive units in the league, thanks in large part to veteran kicker Billy Cundiff converting five field goals in the game. Cundiff’s five field goals tied the team record for the most made in a single game.

Interesting Game Note:
Veteran receiver Derrick Mason played his former team, the Ravens, for a second straight game on Sunday. Mason was the third receiver on the New York Jet’ depth chart just a week ago, but apparently he ran his mouth a tad too much for Jets’ coach Rex Ryan, who traded him to Houston just days ago. Unfortunately for Mason, he had to lose to his former team twice this year.

“Today was very different from two weeks ago. I’m in a much happier place and on a team that wants me to play,” said Mason, who led the Ravens in receiving from 2005-2010.

“You never want t lose, but today was enjoyable…I am glad to be with the Texans and excited to be here.”

Next Up:
The Ravens will go on the road to Jacksonville, Fla. next weekend for another non-divisional matchup against the Jaguars (1-5 overall) scheduled for Monday night, Oct. 24 at 8:30 p.m.

The Jaguars fell, 17-13, to the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2 overall) today.

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor