Ravens Shred Texans, 33-16
In the NFL, each individual loss doesn't register as a "disaster,'' or a "season-ender.'' But the collection of early-season losses?
In terms of eventually qualifying for the playoffs, 0-2 is almost disastrous to those hopes. ... because historically, 90 percent of teams that open that way fail to end their seasons with postseason berths.
That is the football mountain the Houston Texans now must climb following a demoralizing 33-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in their Week 2 home-opening game Sunday at NRG Stadium.
"We have to figure this out very quickly,'' Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "We have to figure this out very quickly. We're not playing very well. We're not coaching very well."
There is no particular shame in losing to the Ravens; Baltimore has a unique and loaded roster that figures to once again contend for an AFC title. But Houston - two-time defending AFC South champs - entered the 2020 season with the same level of aspirations.
And as occurred in Week 1's loss at Kansas City - the defending Super Bowl champs - the Texans are being slapped in the face with the reality that at this moment they are not at that level.
The Ravens can do it with flash ... but they can also grind you down, as they did so here rushing for 230 of their 407 total yards. Reserve back Gus Edwards rushed for 74 yards, Mark Ingram for 55, QB Lamar Jackson for 54, and rookie J.K. Dobbins adding 48.
Houston countered with the offense generated by QB Deshaun Watson - he was 25 of 36 for 275 yards - but he doesn't at this time appear to have the same level of supporting cast of either of the two contenders who just took him and Houston down.
The Ravens (2-0) used some trickery with Edwards taking a direct snap for a 30-yard touchdown, and they relied on a ball-hawking defense by forcing a couple of Houston turnovers, including a fumble recovery for a score by linebacker L.J. Fort.
The Texans will, going forward, surely find easier patches on the schedule than back-to-back games against Kansas City and Baltimore. But it's not just the teams on the schedule that now present a problem; it's the psychology of the 0-2 mountain that seems most imposing.
'We have to get better quickly, in all areas,'' O'Brien said. "We have to get better very quickly.''