Twelve Ravens thoughts following Week 2 win over Houston

Rookie Marquise Brown was practicing Wednesday for the first time since hurting his right ankle on Oct. 6.

With the Ravens winning their seventh straight road game dating back to last October in the 33-16 final over Houston, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. One of my bigger concerns — relatively speaking — was that the Ravens might be caught “peeking ahead” to their Week 3 showdown, but John Harbaugh’s team offered a rock-solid performance in which every phase contributed meaningfully at some point in the game. You can’t ask for more playing on the road.

2. Marcus Peters delivered one of the finest interceptions you’ll see. Following a motioning Randall Cobb in man coverage, Peters read Deshaun Watson’s eyes, abandoned Cobb in the flat, and made a diving catch on the pass intended for Brandin Cooks. Very few even attempt that play, let alone make it.

3. Whether Will Fuller was dealing with a sore hamstring or not, the secondary holding the Texans’ No. 1 receiver without as much as a target in 37 snaps is impressive. It also speaks to trading all-world wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins not being a genius move, Bill O’Brien.

4. The pass rush and the offensive line were underwhelming early with no sacks on Watson and three surrendered in the first half, but both groups rebounded after halftime. The defense finished with four sacks and 13 quarterback hits while Baltimore ran for 153 yards in the fourth quarter alone.

5. Lamar Jackson offered another strong passing performance despite lamenting his overthrow of an open Marquise Brown on the corner end-zone route in the second quarter. Through two weeks, Jackson leads the NFL in yards per passing attempt (9.8) and is second in completion percentage (77.6 percent).

6. It’s fun seeing L.J. Fort in the spotlight for his 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown, but the 30-year-old has been the steadiest performer at inside linebacker, playing well against the pass and doing the dirty work against the run. He’s invaluable for a position group with so much youth.

7. His first NFL carry didn’t end well last week, but Patrick Ricard has now caught 14 of 17 career targets as a receiver with the latest being Sunday’s nifty touchdown reception on a pass Jackson acknowledged was less than stellar. He now has four career touchdown receptions.

8. It’s funny to note that Ricard played more snaps than any of the three running backs as Week 1 conclusions drawn about Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins went out the window. Observers are too quick to dismiss Edwards, who’s only averaged 5.3 yards per carry for his career.

9. Houston did a quality job limiting Mark Andrews to just one catch for 29 yards, so it was encouraging to see Miles Boykin make a career-high four receptions for 38 yards. He made the first catch of the game for Baltimore and the first two receptions of the second half.

10. The CBS broadcast noted that Sunday marked the 12th consecutive regular-season game in which the Ravens haven’t trailed in the second half. They’ve also won five of their last six road games by double digits and 10 of their last 12 regular-season games by 14 or more points.

11. Such factoids are why I don’t quite understand early arguments about the Ravens being better than last year as if the 2019 team wasn’t already incredibly dominant. Through two weeks, Baltimore ranks first overall in DVOA, fifth in offensive DVOA, and third in defensive DVOA. Last year? First, first, and fifth.

12. Tavon Young suffered one of many serious Week 2 injuries, sparking debate about the absence of preseason games. If that were the reason, why didn’t we see many more in Week 1? Football is a violent sport in which injuries are inevitable. If anything, preseason games only increase that probability.