3.

<b>The Ravens' offensive line has yet to play well.</b>
<br><br>
With Ray Rice injured, the Ravens lacked their usual change of pace in the running game. It's hard to blame their lackluster attack on Bernard Pierce, however. He's a straight-ahead runner, and the offensive line simply didn't give him room to get rolling in his first career start.
<br><br>
With an average of 2.4 yards per carry, the Ravens continued a troubling pattern from the first two weeks of the season. Solid running has been a near-constant for the franchise, but right now, the Ravens can't count on even decent gains when they hand off on first down.
<br><br>
Pierce attributed the early running struggles to both poor field position and Houston's powerful defensive front. <br><br>
"They knew it was coming," he said of his runs. "And they just played real stout defense up front." 
<br><br>
The offensive line also struggled with pass blocking, especially in the first half. Texans superstar J.J. Watt put a few big hits on Joe Flacco. And on one possession, Flacco took hits from two different linemen despite the fact Houston rushed only three. The Ravens were fortunate to recover the resulting fumble.
<br><br>
Penalties also plagued the offensive line in the first half, with Bryant McKinnie drawing two 15-yard facemask calls and Kelechi Osemele adding a holding infraction.
<br><br>
If you're looking for hope, the line played better in the second half when protecting a lead. And no one can block Watt, who's the best defensive player in the league.

( Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun / September 22, 2013 )

The Ravens' offensive line has yet to play well.

With Ray Rice injured, the Ravens lacked their usual change of pace in the running game. It's hard to blame their lackluster attack on Bernard Pierce, however. He's a straight-ahead runner, and the offensive line simply didn't give him room to get rolling in his first career start.

With an average of 2.4 yards per carry, the Ravens continued a troubling pattern from the first two weeks of the season. Solid running has been a near-constant for the franchise, but right now, the Ravens can't count on even decent gains when they hand off on first down.

Pierce attributed the early running struggles to both poor field position and Houston's powerful defensive front.

"They knew it was coming," he said of his runs. "And they just played real stout defense up front."

The offensive line also struggled with pass blocking, especially in the first half. Texans superstar J.J. Watt put a few big hits on Joe Flacco. And on one possession, Flacco took hits from two different linemen despite the fact Houston rushed only three. The Ravens were fortunate to recover the resulting fumble.

Penalties also plagued the offensive line in the first half, with Bryant McKinnie drawing two 15-yard facemask calls and Kelechi Osemele adding a holding infraction.

If you're looking for hope, the line played better in the second half when protecting a lead. And no one can block Watt, who's the best defensive player in the league.

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