The Ravens' defensive line has traditionally owned a reputation for being stout against the run and harassing quarterbacks.
With the exception of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, though, that hasn't been the case this season.
The Ravens have gotten shoved around up front, pushed back into the linebackers, taken poor pursuit angles and been unable to escape blocks.
It's reached the point where the Ravens are beginning to work in younger defensive linemen as Bryan Hall and DeAngelo Tyson made their season debuts Sunday when the Ravens were routed, 43-13, at Reliant Stadium.
"A work in progress; we’re not where we’ve been in the past obviously," coach John Harbaugh said. "We’ve been a dominant run front. We’ve been able to play the run with seven in the box and pretty much dominate the run. We’re not there right now."
The Texans piled up 181 rushing yards as star running back Arian Foster rumbled for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries against the NFL's 26th-ranked defense.
Foster reversed field for an 8-yard run, starting out to his right and running away from Ngata and outside linebacker Paul Kruger and dashing to his left to pick up the first down.
"It's about playing better as a defense, we're not doing our job right now," nose guard Terrence Cody said. "We wanted to build a wall. We were doing it, but not wrapping up and playing the cutback and they squirted out a few times."
Harbaugh was complimentary of Tyson and Hall, saying their play merited future opportunities.
The Ravens are allowing 400 yards of total offense per game.
Harbaugh indicated that while change could be coming to the defense, it won't be drastic moves like altering the primary 3-4 scheme or any massive lineup shifts.
"We’ve got our structure, but what we have to do is we have to adjust it," Harbaugh said. "We have to realign some of our rules, as far as gap control against the run or how we play coverages and things like that. Personnel-wise, there’s not a whole lot you can do, really.
"I like our players. Our players are most definitely good enough to get the job done, and we’ll just continue to improve there. Does that mean young guys? We’re going to keep developing the young guys, and as those guys emerge, sure, they are going to get an opportunity.”
Harbaugh says Ravens are following injury reporting rules
Harbaugh defended the team not listing free safety Ed Reed on the injury report.
The league launched a formal inquiry into the Ravens not having Reed on their official injury report after he complained last week of a torn labrum in his shoulder.
The NFL is reviewing the Ravens' practice and game video.
The Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins were fined $20,000 apiece last week for not listing defensive end Mario Williams on the injury report and for not being forthcoming about quarterback Robert Griffin III's status, respectively.
"What they'll find is that [Reed] practiced 100 percent all of the time and played in all of the games," Harbaugh said. "He hasn't missed any game time because of injuries. Our understanding of the rule has been that if they don't miss any time because of injury they don't have to be on the injury report.
"So, there's some nuances there. I'm very confident that we understand that rule as well as anyone in the league. Whatever they tell us to do, we'll do. We're trying to follow the rules."