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Instant analysis of the Ravens' win over the Houston Texans

Baltimore Sun reporters and editors give their thoughts on the Ravens' win over the Houston Texans.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: After a lackluster victory last week, the Ravens showed everybody something today. Their defense was every bit as good as some of their dominant defenses of the past, fitting with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the house. Tandon Doss made a huge play on special teams to keep the momentum in the home team's favor. And as inept as the offense looked early, they eventually wore the Texans down when it mattered most. Playing without running back Ray Rice and starting defensive end Chris Canty, the Ravens dominated one of the AFC's better teams for the last 2 1/2 quarters.

Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens made a big statement in a big game. Few people picked them to win, but no one thought they would blow out Houston.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Texans couldn't take advantage when the Ravens got off to a sluggish start and the momentum shifted radically when Daryl Smith returned that interception for a touchdown to grab the lead. Big win, especially with the Ravens heading out on the road for their next two games.

Aaron Wilson, reporter: As retired linebacker Ray Lewis was inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime, the Ravens' defense turned in a throwback performance with a game-changing interception for a touchdown by middle linebacker Daryl Smith, Lewis' replacement. Between Smith and Tandon Doss' punt return for a touchdown, the defense and the special teams provided enough big plays to overcome a fairly quiet offensive performance with Bernard Pierce being contained with an injured Ray Rice sidelined due to a strained left hip flexor. Former Ravens safety Ed Reed had a quiet game, looking gun-shy on tackles as he had zero impact on the outcome as the Texans lost for the first time this season.

Matt Vensel, reporter: With Ray Lewis and Ed Reed back in town, the Ravens went old school in Sunday's win, relying on a swarming defense and a special teams touchdown to pick up a huge win against another AFC contender. Their defense held firm when the offense struggled early and middle linebacker Daryl Smith turned the game around with his pick-six in the second quarter. The offense put forth another inconsistent performance, but that's a concern for tomorrow. Let's give credit where it is due for a Ravens defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown in two weeks.

Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens are a defensive team again. For a second straight week, their offense couldn't have looked worse in the first half. The defense, meanwhile, kept the Ravens alive with two red-zone stands and then turned the momentum on Daryl Smith's interception return. The offense played better in the second half to build the lead. But this was another defensive victory.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: What an impressive performance by the Ravens. Defensively they were dominant, special teams were spectacular and the offense didn't turn the ball over. The only negative was the number of penalties, but that can be corrected. Ravens Nation should feel good about this win.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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