No Rice, no Canty, no problem, as Ravens trounce Texans

Scan the pundits’ predictions for this one and few had the Ravens topping the Texans at M&T Bank Stadium today, let alone doing it in a rout.

But that’s exactly what unfolded as Baltimore’s defense perhaps topped its showing from last week’s win over the Browns by holding a talented Texans offense without a touchdown in a 30-9 victory.

The Ravens improved to 2-1 and have yet to let an opponent cross the goal line in two home games this season. Perhaps allowing seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning in Week 1 left a mark, and if it did, the Baltimore defense has spun it in to a massive positive.

Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and the Houston attack had been averaging 30.5 points and 450.5 yards. The Ravens held them to nine points and 264 yards.

Linebacker Daryl Smith returned an interception for a touchdown, and the unit as a whole locked things down after the Texans started the game with a 16-play drive. That might’ve been the key, however, because Houston only walked away from that possession with three points.

The Ravens managed to hold things in check the rest of the first half, coming through for touchdowns on defense and special teams, before the offense managed to get going enough to put the game away in the second half.

Baltimore’s offense continued to struggle, finishing with just 236 yards and 16 points on a Bernard Pierce 1-yard run. Joe Flacco passed for 171 yards, no touchdowns and no picks, while Pierce ran for 65 yards in Ray Rice’s absence.

Even without Rice on offense along with Chris Canty and Arthur Brown on defense, the Ravens rolled over Houston to win their second straight game.