Texans - Ravens: More game notes

BALTIMORE -- It was an ugly win, but the Baltimore Ravens will gladly accept it. During a 16-15 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, though, the Ravens' run defense faltered again. Texans running back Domanick Davis rambled for 155 yards on 29 carries. He broke several tackles inside, running over middle linebacker Tommy Polley on more than one occasion.

It was the fourth-most rushing yards gained by a back against Baltimore, trailing Denver's Terrell Davis (194 in 1996), St. Louis' Marshall Faulk (192 in 1998) and Chicago's James Allen (163 in 1998).

"I'll give up yards for a win anytime," said linebacker Adalius Thomas, who scored a touchdown on a 20-yard interception return. "If we stop them for 50 yards and we lose, people will say that we stopped the run well but we still lost the game.

"He's a good back. He came in and did his thing. They spread us out in three-wide and we missed some tacklers here and there, but other than that I think we did well."

It was the second week in a row that the Ravens surrendered 100 yards to a runner and marks the fourth 100-yard game by a back this season following Chicago's Thomas Jones, Cincinnati's Rudi Johnson and Jacksonville's Greg Jones.

Davis' hard-nosed running style at 5-foot-9, 221 pounds gave the Ravens considerable trouble.

"He's a tough little guy," linebacker Bart Scott said. "The dude is probably about 5-foot-5 and it's hard to get under him. When you're over 6-feet, you've got to bend your knees and get underneath him and stand him up and drive your feet."

SACK ATTACK: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs broke his pass rushing silence with a career-high three sacks.

Plus, Suggs forced a fumble. After registering 22 ½ sacks in his first 32 games, Suggs shares the team lead with Thomas with five apiece.

The Texans have allowed a league-high 55 sacks.

"It's always good to get on that roll," Suggs said. "I just knew when we had them in third-and-long that David Carr had to hold the ball longer, which gives me more time to get there. I got his cadence, and I got off on the ball a couple of times."

REED RETURNS: Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed returned to the lineup after missing six consecutive games with a high-ankle sprain. He registered three tackles.

"It felt good, and the win makes it feel even better," Reed said. "But we need to correct a lot of things."
Winning by only one point over the Texans didn't entirely satisfy the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

"You don't want to get embarrassed, that's what I was thinking about when we were playing the Houston Texans," Reed said. "This is our house. Ray Lewis and the Ravens have been a dominating franchise for years. That's what we strive for."

LEARNING ON THE JOB: When All-Pro left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden strained his hamstring in the first quarter, it forced rookie Adam Terry into his first extended playing time.

Terry struggled in pass protection in his first extended NFL playing time, giving up a sack.

"It was frustrating to do as poorly as I did in pass protection," said Terry, a second-round draft pick from Syracuse. "I can't let down the team. My first taste of an NFL game, I didn't fare as well as I wanted to.

"I know that you got a great left tackle here and I'm working to try to be one. I'm not there yet, so I just got to work."

TRAINING ROOM: Ogden's injury was the most serious one.

He spent most of the game sitting on an ice bucket after tweaking his hamstring, but indicated he would try to play next week against the Denver Broncos.

"It tightened up, I couldn't push off," Ogden said. "I had no power. If you ain't got no power, you can't do nothing."

Cornerback Zach Norton hurt his shoulder and linebacker Mike Smith injured his hamstring.

QUICK HITS: The Ravens deactivated cornerback Chris McAlister (hamstring), linebacker Ray Lewis (thigh), fullback Justin Green (wrist), kicker Aaron Elling, offensive guard Keydrick Vincent (thigh), offensive tackle Orlando Brown (back), wide receiver Clarence Moore and defensive end Tony Weaver (back). Deion Sanders started in place of McAlister, Ovie Mughelli in place of Green and Brian Rimpf and Tony Pashos in place of Vincent and Brown. Jarret Johnson started for Weaver. It was Ray Lewis' sixth consecutive game out of the lineup … Johnson bristled at the suggestion that the Ravens should try to lose to improve their draft position. "I don't know why we would play for a draft pick," he said. "That's kind of dumb. We're trying to win every ballgame." … Rimpf was penalized three times. ... The Ravens improved to 15-6 at home in December, 11-4 under Brian Billick. ... This was the third game this season that the defense didn't allow a touchdown.
 

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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