Ravens not made to pay for early mistake (Tucker cuts it to 6-3)

The Ravens had stalled the Texans at the Baltimore 23-yard line.

After methodically working deep into Ravens territory, a big pass defense by Matt Elam on a throw intended for Owen Daniels forced fourth down. But with the Houston field goal team on, Baltimore made a terrible mistake, bringing 12 men on to the field.

The flag was thrown, the drive stayed alive... and the Ravens stopped the Texans again. Houston drove to the Baltimore 8 and could move no further, settling for Randy Bullock’s 27-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

The Texans put together a 16-play, 69-yard drive that lasted 7 minutes, 54 seconds, but had to settle for just three points.

You can look at it one of two ways. A good omen: the Ravens let Houston put together a drive like that and it didn’t end with seven points. A bad omen: the Ravens permitted a 16-play possession that ate nearly eight minutes of clock to start the game.

Baltimore had no answer on its first drive, going three and out after two Bernard Pierce runs for seven yards.

Also in the bad news column, defensive lineman Terrence Cody suffered a sprained knee on the opening drive and his return is doubtful. That could prove to be a big hit to an already thin front seven with Chris Canty and Arthur Brown inactive.

Update: A confluence of events led to a short field for the Texans and a 29-yard field goal for Bullock that increased Houston’s lead to 6-0.

A perfect punt by Shane Lechler pinned the Ravens to their own 1 with 3:57 to go in the first quarter. Baltimore went three and out, and punted away. Another bad penalty on the punt - a late hit by Brynden Trawick - cost the Ravens 15 yards and started the Texans on the Baltimore 29.

Five plays later, Houston kicked it through for the 6-0 advantage on the first play of the second quarter.

Update II: With the help of three defensive penalties, including pass interference on cornerback Kareem Jackson, the Ravens are on the board.

Justin Tucker just converted a 28-yard field goal, cutting the Texans’ lead to 6-3 with 4:11 remaining in the second quarter and making him 1-for-1 one week after going 0-for-2 on field goal tries.

In all, the drive was 11 plays for 62 yards and lasted 4:52. But the 21-yard pass interference penalty and two offsides flags helped the Ravens keep it alive. At one point, Baltimore was backed into a first-and-20 near midfield, but maneuvered its way out of it.

The Ravens are now being outgained 89-65 after being at a 70-10 disadvantage earlier. Baltimore also now has four first downs after entering that drive with just one on their first three possessions today.