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.
Stroud’s career began in unusual fashion. The former Ohio State star caught his own pass — the first one he attempted — after it was deflected into the air. That drive ended when he took a sack on fourth down at his 36, but the Ravens couldn’t take advantage of that field position because Jackson was intercepted by Steven Nelson.
Dobbins opened the scoring, reaching the end zone with a big leap on a 4-yard run in the first quarter, but Baltimore’s offensive line looked surprisingly porous in the first half. After going the whole first quarter without a first down, the Texans kicked a couple of field goals in the second.
The Ravens scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the third. Hill’s 2-yard run — along with Gus Edwards’ run for a 2-point conversion after Houston was offside on the extra point — made it 15-6. Then Baltimore stopped running back Dameon Pierce on fourth-and-1 in Houston territory, and Hill added another 2-yard TD run soon after that.
A fumble by Jackson led to another Houston field goal early in the fourth, but the Texans never mounted much of a threat in the final minutes. Stroud threw for 242 yards.
Houston was without its top two safeties by the end of the game. Jimmie Ward (hip) was inactive, and Jalen Pitre left with a chest injury. … Texans DT Hassan Ridgeway injured his calf in the third.
Texans: Host Indianapolis next Sunday in a potential matchup between Stroud and Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Ravens: Play at AFC North rival Cincinnati next Sunday in a rematch of their playoff loss to the Bengals last season.