Zay Flowers looks every bit the part of the star receiver the Ravens hoped for when they selected him in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Against Houston, Flowers racked up 78 yards on nine receptions (ten targets). Offensive coordinator Todd Monken seemed to make an effort to manufacture touches for Flowers through screens and jet sweeps, making multiple defenders look silly in the process. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens defense was very aggressive and didn’t give up any big plays to second overall pick C.J. Stroud and company.
For most of the game, the offense struggled to find a rhythm or produce any big plays down the field. Additionally, the offensive line couldn’t keep quarterback Lamar Jackson clean for most of the first half as Houston registered 12 pressures, one of which led to an ill-advised interception by Jackson. However, Baltimore did score three red-zone touchdowns, an area that was a major problem for the team last season.
The Ravens just can’t seem to shake the injury bug, especially to key players. Running back J.K. Dobbins reportedly suffered a season ending Achilles tear which is an absolute blow to the team. You can’t help but feel terrible for Dobbins who seemed to be back to 100% after his devastating knee injury three years ago. Star safety Macrus Williams also left the game with what is feared to be a torn pectoral muscle (MRI pending). If that wasn’t enough, linemen Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum both left the game in the second half and didn’t return. The Baltimore Ravens truly seem snakebit with injuries and are due for some good fortune for the rest of the season.