J.K. Dobbins ran for an early touchdown before leaving with a torn Achilles tendon, Justice Hill scored twice in the second half and the Baltimore Ravens pulled away for a 25-9 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Dobbins’ injury after the game and said he would miss the rest of the season, a significant blow to Baltimore’s offense.
Lamar Jackson turned the ball over twice, and Baltimore (1-0) looked out of sync for much of its first game with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. But the Ravens kept Houston and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud out of the end zone.
The Texans (0-1) made a game of it for a half under new coach DeMeco Ryans, and Stroud directed a couple of solid drives, but Houston couldn’t move the ball consistently enough.
Jackson threw for 169 yards, and rookie receiver Zay Flowers was the main source of excitement for Baltimore’s new-look offense. He caught nine passes for 78 yards on a day when the Ravens were without tight end Mark Andrews because of a quad injury.
Odell Beckham Jr., who signed with Baltimore in the offseason, played for the first time since injuring his knee in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. He caught two passes and drew a couple of pass interference calls — including one that set up Hill’s second TD.
Aside from Andrews, the Ravens now have at least two more key players dealing with injuries. Safety Marcus Williams left with a shoulder problem, a blow to a secondary that was already missing cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot). Then Dobbins caught a pass deep in Houston territory and walked off gingerly.
The Ravens did not pick up the fifth-year option on Dobbins’ rookie deal before the season, meaning he could have played his last game for Baltimore. The former Ohio State star missed the 2021 season with a knee injury and played eight games last year.
In the fourth quarter, Baltimore left tackle Ronnie Stanley appeared to be in a lot of pain after going down with a knee injury, but he was able to walk off. Center Tyler Linderbaum also walked off after he hurt his ankle.
Read on for quarter-by-quarter analysis.
End of 4th: Ravens 25, Texans 9
4:14 left, 4th quarter: Justin Tucker adds three more
A forced fumble by outside linebacker David Ojabo on Stroud gave the Ravens good field possession to continue building their lead. The Ravens moved 26 yards in seven plays after the turnover and added a 39-yard field goal to increase their lead to 25-9.
12:19 left, 4th quarter: Ronnie Stanley injured
Ravens starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley was down on the field holding his right knee following a play in the fourth quarter. After getting looked at by team trainers, Stanley walked off the field to the blue medical tent. His return is questionable.
13:50 left, 4th quarter: Texans connect on 36-yard field goal
The Texans were in easy field goal range and added three points following a fumble from Jackson on a botched handoff. Houston went 10 yards in six plays after taking possession before Fairbairn connected on a 36-yard field goal to make the score 22-9.
End of 3rd: Ravens 22, Texans 6
0:00 left, 3rd quarter: Dobbins ruled out
Dobbins was ruled out for the game with an ankle injury at the end of the quarter.
5:21 left, 3rd quarter: Justice Hill scores again
Ravens running back Justice Hill found the end zone for the second time on Baltimore’s second offensive series in the third quarter. Hill bounced a run through right guard Kevin Zeitler for a 2-yard touchdown to increase the Ravens’ lead to 22-6.
9:55 left, 3rd quarter: J.K. Dobbins helped to locker room
Dobbins was helped to the locker room with assistance from two athletic trainers after sustaining an ankle injury on the first drive of the second half. The Ravens announced that his return is questionable.
9:55 left, 3rd quarter: Ravens offense starts second half strong
The Ravens offense came out much more aggressively to start the second half, taking its first drive 71 yards in eight plays to get back on the scoreboard via a 2-yard run from Justice Hill, who filled in for Dobbins. Hill was successful on a two-point conversion to increase the Ravens’ lead to 15-6.
Marcus Williams ruled out
The safety was not with the Ravens’ first-team defense to start the second half and was ruled out for the rest of the game after injuring his shoulder before halftime.
You have to give credit to Houston for sticking around in this one. After a disastrous opening offensive series and punts on the next two, the Texans racked up two lengthy drives in the second quarter to make it a one-point game going into halftime. After a strong, disruptive start for the Ravens defensive front, Houston QB C.J. Stroud has stayed the course and delivered some good throws to move the Texans downfield as the game has progressed. It hasn’t been the strongest start for the Ravens offense besides their lone scoring drive in the first quarter. They have to get some type of explosiveness if they want to avoid an upset.
The Ravens also keep hurting themselves. They’ve been whistled nine times for 82 yards’ worth of penalties, and Lamar Jackson’s ill-advised throw led to an interception that wasted good field position.
The offense very clearly has not found a rhythm, but rookie WR Zay Flowers leads the team with three catches for 29 yards (he’s also run the ball twice for 9 yards). Odell Beckham Jr. does not have a catch and has only been targeted once. It’s up to offensive coordinator Todd Monken to get him involved early in the third quarter.
End of 2nd: Ravens 7, Texans 6
0:00 left, 2nd quarter: Texans convert 38-yard field to cut Ravens lead
The Texans once again put together a long scoring drive to cut into the Ravens lead. Fairbairn drilled a 38-yard field as time expired in the second quarter to cap a 11-play, 43-yard drive for Houston. A roughing-the-passer penalty on Travis Jones gave the Texans a new set of downs and moved them into field goal range.
4:00 left, 2nd quarter: Safety Marcus Williams injured, questionable to return
After the Texans’ scoring drive, Ravens starting safety Marcus Williams walked to the sideline holding his left shoulder and exited to the locker room with trainers shortly thereafter. He has been ruled questionable to return.
3:56 left, 2nd quarter: Houston gets on the board with a 35-yard field goal
The Texans offense finally gained a bit of traction on its fourth series. Houston put together a 15-play, 67-yard drive that resulted in a 35-yard field goal from kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn to make the score 7-3.
End of 1st: Ravens 7, Texans 0
The Ravens finally found success on offense with their third drive when running back J.K. Dobbins bounced a run to the right side and dove in for a 4-yard touchdown. Dobbins’ touchdown capped a nine-play, 59-yard drive to give the Ravens the lead with a minute left in the first quarter.
5:30 left, 1st quarter: Ravens botch early scoring opportunity with Lamar Jackson interception
After going three-and-out on their first offensive series, the Ravens failed to capitalize on an easy red zone opportunity given away by the Texans.
Lamar Jackson recorded his first interception of the season when he was picked by cornerback Steve Nelson on a pass intended for rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers on third down. The Ravens were in easy field goal range, starting the drive from Houston’s 36 after stopping the Texans on fourth down. Houston elected to go for it on fourth-and-1 but paid the price. C.J. Stroud was sacked for 11 yards by Patrick Queen.
TE Mark Andrews
QB Tyler Huntley
CB Jalyn Armour-Davis
CB Arthur Maulet
CB Marlon Humphrey
G Ben Cleveland
G Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu
S Jimmie Ward
LB Blake Cashman
RB Dare Ogunbowale
WR John Metchie III
QB Case Keenum
CB Alex Austin