Ravens defense steps up, time for offense to follow

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens offense showed signs of improvement in yesterday's win, but it was the defense that ultimately won the game.

Sunday's victory was a decisive one for a Baltimore team that looked dismal in the first game of the season. The third week of the season is an important one. It's late enough where teams start to show their true colors, and the effects of the offseason moves begin to take shape, but it's also early enough to get an initial read on how teams will fare.

Baltimore headed into their game versus Houston having allowed seven touchdowns in their first game, yet none in their second. The defense rallied on this momentum and changed the tides in the 2nd quarter to Baltimore's advantage.

Notably, Daryl Smith, a newly-acquired linebacker from the Jacksonville Jaguars, made a name for himself with a pick-six that put the Ravens back in the game. From there on Tandon Doss returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown and Bernard Pierce scored the offenses' sole touchdown of the day.

Rookie Matt Elam exhibited flashes of greatness while the Ravens' rush defense held down the likes of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. The Ravens' defense currently ranks fourth in the league in opponent rushing yards with an average of 74.7 yards a week (they held both the Browns and the Texans to under 100 yards).

It seems like the Ravens' defense is looking like the one Rex Ryan built during the earlier franchise years. However, despite their stellar performance, this defense is still too young for the Ravens' offense to depend on week in and week out. We still have yet to see the same Joe we saw last postseason, but he's going to need to figure it out with the Bills, Dolphins, and Packers coming up.

I still saw a lack of solid offensive chemistry in yesterday's defensively strong bout. There is potential among Baltimore's receivers and backfield, potential that Flacco and Jim Caldwell need to unleash.

Offense wins games and defense wins championships, but given today's game it's imperative to have an outstanding offense if you're going to make it to the championship (i.e. 2000 Ravens' offense v. 2012 Ravens' offense). Don't view yesterday's win over the Texans as a sign that all is well again, but don't overlook it either.

It's a step-by-step development for this Baltimore team, and they're dealing with a lot of key injuries.

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