Ihedigbo: We had a great game plan and we executed it
The Ravens got a little help from the visiting Texans in Sunday's surprisingly easy 30-9 over Houston-- especially from the defense.
Houston was flagged for 14 penalties overall, with seven of them coming on defense and giving a Baltimore offense that started slowly a pretty good boost. When talking about it afterwards, the word "discipline" kept coming up among the Texans and their coaches.
"The biggest disappointment is in discipline," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "That's my responsibility; we had 14 or 15 penalties."
The Ravens, in fact, finished with 16 first downs. But four of them came from penalties and really gave them help, especially at various points midway through the game.
The Texans held a 6-0 lead later in the second quarter when things began to change. Houston's defense was hit with three penalties during a second-quarter Ravens drive that really gave them a lift. It pushed the Ravens to a field goal which cut Houston's lead to 6-3.
The Ravens then got two returns for touchdowns -- one on an interception, one on a punt -- but a pass interference penalty put the Ravens at the Houston 1-yard line on the first drive of the third quarter, setting up a touchdown which gave the Ravens a 24-9 edge. Those two drives helped the Ravens turn the game around in a short period of time.
"Penalties. Some warranted, some unwarranted," said Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph. "We can't let the small things away from what we're trying to accomplish-- getting off the field on third downs, not communicating, having a mishap in coverage -- basically they're just small things."
Former Raven Ed Reed said he told his new teammates that discipline was important because the Ravens weren't going to give them anything. But the message didn't get through all the way.
"We knew who we were facing," Reed said. "We knew what we were walking into. You can't make the mistakes we made. You've got to be a disciplined and smart football team."