Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) caused Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee (16) to fumble during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston. Baltimore recovered and scored a touchdown on the play. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

By Demetrius Dillard
Special to the AFRO

The Baltimore Ravens used a domineering rushing attack and staggering second-half defense to cruise to a 33-16 road win over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Sept. 20.

Running back Mark Ingram played a crucial role in the Ravens’ ground game with 55 rushing yards on nine carries that included a 30-yard scamper to the end zone early in the fourth quarter. As a team, Baltimore accrued 230 yards on the ground while holding Houston to only 51 yards rushing.

Additionally, Baltimore forced two turnovers and committed no turnovers on their way to the double-digit victory that puts them at 2-0 for the season.

“A win like this is a big win, and very much valued against a very good football team, a well-coached football team on the road so we’re very proud of this one,” said Ravens coach John Harbuagh after the win.

“Probably one of the big differences was 14 points of turnovers, no question about it.”

After a slow start for both clubs offensively, Justin Tucker got the Ravens on the board with a 32-yard field goal late in the first. Houston took over at its 25-yard line on the next drive to try and respond with a scoring play to end the first quarter, but committed a turnover-on-downs to give Baltimore possession to begin the second.

With only 34 yards needed for a touchdown, Lamar Jackson completed two passes for 27 yards and Ingram had a four-yard run that put them at the 1-yard line. The opening drive of the second quarter ended with a one-yard toss from Jackson to Patrick Ricard that extended the lead to 10-0.

Determined not to let their opponent build a sizable lead, the Texans responded with a score on the following drive. Quarterback DeShaun Watson completed five of six passes that led a seven-play, 75-yard series which concluded with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Darren Fells. Just beneath the 10-minute mark of the second, Houston narrowed its deficit to 10-7.

Concluding a nine-play drive, the Ravens made it 13-7 after Tucker drilled another field goal, this time from 39 yards out, with about five-and-a-half minutes until the half.

For the second consecutive week, rookie linebacker Patrick Queen led the Ravens defensive unit with nine tackles while Humphrey recorded seven tackles and a forced fumble.

Jackson had another fairly efficient throwing day, completing 18 of 24 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. Receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin combined for 80 yards on nine catches. Gus Edwards rushed for a game-high 73 yards on 10 carries.

Watson was 25-of-36 passing for 275 yards and a touchdown along with an interception. Cooks finished with 95 receiving yards on five catches. 

In what may be one of the biggest showdowns in the regular season, the Ravens will host the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in their first Monday night game of the season, on Sept. 28 at 8:15 p.m.

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On first-and-10 at its 17-yard line, Houston committed a costly turnover that seemed to shift the momentum for the rest of the afternoon. Watson took the snap, dodged a few defenders and got the pass off into the hands of Keke Coutee, who was  on his way upfield until cornerback Marlon Humphrey forced a fumble that was recovered by L.J. Fort and returned for a 22-yard touchdown. 

Fort’s fumble return put Baltimore ahead, 20-7. On the ensuing drive, the Ravens forced another turnover when Watson threw the ball deep up the middle that was intended for Brandin Cooks but intercepted by Marcus Peters.

However, Houston bounced back with a 44-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn and got a defensive stop when Baltimore tried to extend its lead that brought the score to 20-10 at halftime.

After both squads exchanged field goals to begin the second half, Ingram took a direct snap and broke free for a 30-yard sprint to the end zone that increased the Ravens’ lead to 30-13 at the top of the fourth quarter, virtually sealing the win.

Fairbairn put in another field goal for the Texans (0-2) as they trailed 30-16 with 8:13 remaining in the game. The Ravens ate up about four-and-half minutes on their next drive, somewhat thwarting the Texans’ chances of putting together a quick comeback rally.

Tucker added another field goal and Houston was forced to a three-and-out that concluded the game.

For the second consecutive week, rookie linebacker Patrick Queen led the Ravens defensive unit with nine tackles while Humphrey recorded seven tackles and a forced fumble.

Jackson had another fairly efficient throwing day, completing 18 of 24 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. Receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin combined for 80 yards on nine catches. Gus Edwards rushed for a game-high 73 yards on 10 carries.

Watson was 25-of-36 passing for 275 yards and a touchdown along with an interception. Cooks finished with 95 receiving yards on five catches. 

In what may be one of the biggest showdowns in the regular season, the Ravens will host the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in their first Monday night game of the season, on Sept. 28 at 8:15 p.m.

Ravens dedicate 2020 season to late superfan Mo Gaba

In honor of Mo Gaba, a beloved Baltimore sports superfan who unfortunately passed away after a battle with cancer this past summer, the Ravens decided to pay tribute to the 14-year-old that would make his impact felt throughout the season.

The Ravens have designated a 500-seat segment of the M&T Bank Stadium as “Mo’s Rows” in honor of Gaba, who is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Orioles Hall of Fame.

Furthermore, the Ravens painted the ‘MO’ in Baltimore gold on one end zone in loving memory of Gaba. 

“The world has lost a beautiful spirit and a shining light,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after Gaba’s passing. “With his infectious laugh, amazing love of life and love of Baltimore sports, Mo captured the hearts of not only our organization, but the entire state of Maryland.”

Ravens will host defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 28 at 8:15 p.m.



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