As he does each week, Childs Walker shares his five biggest takeaways from the Ravens' 25-13 loss Sunday to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
1. The Ravens still might make the playoffs, but it's hard to feel they deserve it.
It was easy to shrug last week when the Ravens struggled to put away the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars at home. Almost every playoff team has to survive a few clunkers, after all.
But this performance in Houston was different and not merely because the Ravens lost. They had a chance to maintain control of their fate against a quarterback, Case Keenum, who was on another team’s practice squad seven days earlier. You couldn’t tee up a much better scenario.
Not only couldn’t the Ravens take advantage; they never seemed competitive. It was their emptiest, most dispiriting performance of an erratic season.
It’s hard to find words to sum up how terribly the Ravens played on offense Sunday.
For much of the season, I thought I might be watching the best, most balanced...Read more
Wide receiver Steve Smith anticipates plenty of criticism for the Ravens after their 23-15 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday that damaged their chances of making the playoffs.
In colorful and feisty fashion, the veteran took aim at anyone who rips the team.
"We expect and understand and anticipate all of the negative feedback and all of the fat, lazy, sorry couch quarterbacks are going to come out," Smith said. "We expect that and understand that. We’re not going to pay attention to it."
Smith, who got angry with reporters after the game in the Ravens' locker room, was easily the most visibly frustrated player after a loss in which he was limited to five receptions for 49 yards while being targeted 12 times.
When asked how much he was concerned about the Ravens’ offensive problems, Smith replied testily: “Won’t you write it and then I can tell you how much [BS] it is. All right? OK?”
Smith had few words to say about a postgame jersey exchange with Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson....Read more
After their stunning 25-13 loss Sunday to the Houston Texans, the Ravens not only fell out of contention for the AFC North title, but they no longer control their playoff chances.
Heading into their regular-season finale next Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium against the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens have two realistic paths to the playoffs -- and both obviously start with them beating the Browns (7-8) and to finish with a 10-6 record.
The Ravens can make the postseason if they beat the Browns, and the San Diego Chargers, who currently occupy the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with a 9-6 record and a victory over the Ravens, lose on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs (8-7) next Sunday.
Or, the Ravens would make it if they beat the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals (9-5-1) lose their final two games: at home Monday night against the Denver Broncos and in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5).
The Steelers clinched a playoff spot with a victory over...Read more
Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors share their immediate thoughts about the Ravens' game against the Houston Texans in Week 16 of the NFL season.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The Ravens now will need help to get into the playoffs, and they have nobody to blame but themselves. To have that wretched of a performance with so much on the line spurs so many questions about the makeup and talent on the team, along with the coaching. All the strides that Joe Flacco and Gary Kubiak’s offense have made this season now seem rather insignificant. Given the circumstances, it truly was one of the worst performances during John Harbaugh’s tenure, and the Ravens are going to have a long time to lament it unless they get some help over the next week and make it to the postseason.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens earned this loss, and they haven't shown in the past two weeks that they are playoff sharp.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Joe Flacco picked a very bad time to have one of the worst...Read more
Ravens veteran defensive end Chris Canty is active for Sunday's road game against the Houston Texans despite an ankle injury that sidelined him in practice all week.
Although Canty didn't practice, he was expected to play after making progress throughout the week and resting his ankle. Canty has 30 tackles, a half-sack and one forced fumble this season. He had four tackles last Sunday in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meanwhile, the Ravens scratched rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill), nose tackle Terrence Cody, cornerback Chris Greenwood, inside linebacker Arthur Brown, center Gino Gradkowski, center-guard Ryan Jensen and defensive tackle Casey Walker.
Texans starting wide receivers Andre Johnson (concussion) and DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) are both active.
The Texans deactivated quarterback Tom Savage, linebacker Mike Mohamed, offensive lineman Xavier Sua-Filo, tight end Garrett Graham, wide receiver DeVier Posey, safety Josh Aubrey and linebacker Jason Ankrah.
The San Diego Chargers' comeback victory at M&T Bank Stadium three weeks ago was viewed as a significant hit to the Ravens' playoff hopes, but the Ravens overcame the setback to get into wild-card position.
Now, the Ravens are dealing with the ramifications of another Chargers' comeback, this one against John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, and the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chargers rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit last night to beat the host 49ers, 38-35, in overtime. The victory improved San Diego's record to 9-6, and means that the Ravens will not be able to clinch a postseason berth Sunday.
Entering the weekend, the Ravens (9-5) knew that they could clinch at least a wild-card spot with a victory this afternoon against the Houston Texans (7-7) and losses by the Chargers against the 49ers, and the Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) against the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4).
However, that scenario no longer is in play because of San Diego's win last night.
Now, the Ravens' only chance to clinch a...Read more