Houston-Baltimore: Ravens Soar Over Texans

Andrew GloverCorrespondent INovember 9, 2008

The Houston Texans were hoping playing in Reliant Stadium would allow them to rebound from last week’s loss. However, the Baltimore Ravens exploded for 22 fourth-quarter points in a 41-13 route.

Joe Flacco completed 15 of 23 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Willis McGahee led the Ravens in rushing with 112 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. McGahee’s 112 yards eclipsed the Texans' rushing total of 72 yards. Todd Heap led in receiving yards with five receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

The win gives the Ravens (6-3) four straight and their sixth win of the year. In 2007, they only won five games. The Ravens will travel to New York to face the Giants (7-1).

The loss was the Texans' (3-6) second in a row after their three-game win streak. The Texans will visit the Indianapolis Colts (4-4) next week.

Sage Rosenfels started in place of Matt Schaub and completed 23 of 38 passes for 294 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. Ryan Moats, who played in his second game this season, led the team in rushing with seven carries for 34 yards. Ken Walter led the team in receiving with four receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown.

The Ravens entered the second half with a 12-6 lead and got the ball first in the third quarter. After a nine-yard pass to Derrick Mason, Le’Ron McLain picked up the first on a two-yard run. Mason picked up another first on an 11-yard pass to the Texans’ 42. The Texans had the Ravens stopped on 3rd-and-3 at the Texans’ 23, but Morlon Greenwood was called for pass interference, and the Ravens had 1st-and-Goal at the one.

McGahee ran it two plays later to increase the Ravens lead to 19-6. The Texans first possession in the second half ended with a Ray Lewis interception, which gave the Ravens the ball at the Texans’ 41.

Nevertheless, the Ravens did not take advantage. The Ravens moved the ball to the Texans’ 25, but lost five yards on a Flacco fumble, and two yards on a Ray Rice run. Matt Stover’s 50-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

The Texans quickly took advantage. Rosenfels hit Walter for a 60-yard touchdown, which cut the Ravens’ lead to 19-13. However, that would be the Texans’ last score and the closest they would get.

On the first play of the Ravens next drive, Anthony Weaver was called for defensive holding. On 1st-and-10 from the Ravens’ 39, Fred Bennett was called for illegal contact. Flacco connected with Mason on 2nd-and-10 for 21 yards to the Texans' 17.

The Texans stopped the Ravens on 3rd-and-8 but were called for defensive pass interference, giving the Ravens a first down at the Texans’ one. Flacco finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Heap. A two-point conversion pass to Mason increased the Ravens lead to 27-13.

After both offenses were forced into three-and-outs, Lewis got his second interception, returning it 14 yards to the Texans’ 19. The Ravens used only three plays and ended the drive with Troy Smith completing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Heap, giving the Ravens a commanding 34-13 lead.

The Texans were penalized 10 times for 76 yards, giving the Ravens five first downs and a safety. Rosenfels’ four interceptions led to 14 points for the Ravens.