So much for Terrell Suggs taking his time with his Achilles injury.
The Ravens’ star linebacker isn’t just back for today’s game at Houston. He started and appears to be set to play a key role in the match-up between the top two teams in the AFC.
Suggs looked fine on the opening possession, a three-and-out forced by Baltimore.
The Ravens proceeded to put Justin Tucker in field-goal possession their first time with the ball, setting up a 51-yard try - which he nailed - with an eight-play, 45-yard drive.
So Baltimore leads 3-0 in a game that could create real separation in the standings.
Update: Suggs was on the sideline for the Texans’ second possession, but returned for third down.
Perhaps that’s an indication that the team has a plan set up for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Maybe he’ll see action every other defensive drive or on third downs.
Update II: Joe Flacco was sacked on back-to-back plays with the second of which coming in his own end zone. Connor Barwin leveled the Baltimore quarterback for a safety, cutting the Ravens’ lead to 3-2.
So, it’s a baseball score. For now.
Update III: Now it’s a lopsided baseball score.
Houston has scored the game’s last nine points for a 9-3 lead over the Ravens at the end of the first quarter.
Matt Schaub connected with a wide-open Kevin Walter, who found a seam down the left slot, for a 25-yard touchdown pass. That capped an eight-play, 67-yard drive which ticked 4:19 off the clock.
There were a few close calls with a near-sack by Suggs turned into a first-down conversion by Schaub. But at the moment, Houston’s on a roll.
Update IV: Make that 16 straight Texans points. On the first play of the second quarter, Jonathan Joseph jumped a pass intended for Torrey Smith after defensive end J.J. Watt tipped it at the line.
Joseph had nothing but green in front of him, returning the pick 52 yards for six points. Houston now leads 16-3.
This could get ugly.
Update V: A 1-yard touchdown pass to Owen Daniels has increased Houston’s lead to 23-3 with a shade under six minutes to go in the opening half.
The Ravens have been outgained 176-64 and have held the ball for nine fewer minutes than the Texans. The 20-point deficit is the largest Baltimore has faced this year.
Ugly has arrived. Rout comes next.
Update VI: Shayne Graham’s 33-yard field goal right after the two-minute warning has increased the Texans’ lead to 26-3. Not much else to say.