Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: Despite a heroic effort from Terrell Suggs, all the Ravens' weaknesses came to the surface. They now have a bye week to figure out why the offense continues to come up so small on the road, why they still haven't been able to get much pressure on the opposing QB and why so many receivers continue to run free in the secondary. The silver lining is Suggs looks like he'll be able to give the Ravens much more than anybody expected and 5-2 at the bye isn't a bad place to be.
Matt Vensel, reporter/blogger: I could have submitted this one to my editors sometime in the second quarter. The Ravens got off to a good start, with Terrell Suggs returning to the field and playing well and the offense grabbing an early 3-0 lead. But it was all Houston from there. The Texans swarmed Joe Flacco, shut down his wide receivers, ran the ball at will, and scored touchdowns when they got inside the red zone. I'm sure Cam Cameron will get a lot of flack these next two weeks for ignoring Ray Rice, but this was a collective dud. Thankfully it only counts as one loss.
Edward Lee, reporter: Aside from that promising opening drive that ended with a Justin Tucker field goal from 51 yards, the Ravens were outgunned and outclassed by the Texans. The run defense actually held up decently without the presence of 13-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis, but quarterback Matt Schaub shredded the pass defense and Jimmy Smith doesn't appear close to showing the potential he had as the team's first-round pick in 2011. The Ravens will have the bye week to lick their wounds, but it's clear that the Texans are the class of the AFC.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens turned in another pathetic performance, and this time weren't lucky enough to win. Be glad the Ravens play in the AFC North. There isn't a really good team in the division.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens were outplayed in just about every facet of the game, but you can still do some intellectual gymnastics and see the afternoon as a positive. They're 5-2 with the bye week ahead and probably will be 7-2 before they face another tough road game. And, of course, Terrell Suggs fooled everyone and came back to play well enough to raise hope for a resurgent Ravens defense.
Aaron Wilson, reporter: It was a debacle. It was an embarrassment. It was downright ugly. The Ravens were totally overwhelmed by a talented Texans team that broke a six-game losing streak to Baltimore. It's hard not to view this as evidence of serious talent drain on both offensive and defensive lines watching the Texans' formidable front seven.
Joe Flacco and the rest of the offense have been terrible on the road this year with a streak of no touchdowns on the road finally ending in the third quarter on Tandon Doss' first NFL touchdown. Until that score, the Ravens' last road touchdown was Jacoby Jones' 21-yard catch from Flacco at 8:32 of second quarter in Philadelphia during a 24-23 loss to Eagles.
The primary bright spot was Terrell Suggs' return from a partially torn right Achilles tendon and sacking quarterback Matt Schaub and emerging unscathed with no setbacks.
Cornerbacks Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith were repeatedly picked on and inside linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain didn't have strong games in the first outing since injuries to $50 million cornerback Lardarius Webb and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year middle linebacker Ray Lewis. Although the Ravens remain well-positioned at 5-2, the defending AFC North champions have quite a bit to work on heading into a much-needed bye.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times