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The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) have been one of the AFC’s dominant forces for as long as anyone can remember. Tell that to the Houston Texans (6-1), in case their 43-13 shellacking of the Ravens in Houston wasn’t enough.
After getting thumped by the Green Bay Packers last Sunday night in front of a national audience, this is exactly how the Texans dreamed of bouncing back.
Baltimore held a slim lead for the majority of the game’s opening quarter, but a 25-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub to receiver Kevin Walter with 30 seconds remaining in the frame gave the Texans their first lead of the day at 9-3.
They never looked back.
“We were really into what we were doing,” said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, “and we were there all day long, so it was a good team effort.”
Houston made absolutely sure to take advantage of the absence of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who had been placed on injured reserve earlier in the week with a torn tricep. Of the 43 points the Texans put up, 34 came via their offense. The other 9 resulted from an early safety and a Johnathan Joseph 52-yard interception return touchdown early in the second quarter.
Schaub threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns on 23 of 37 attempts. Running back Arian Foster also found the end zone twice, and converted 19 carries into 98 yards.
By halftime the Texans had run out to a staggering 29-3 lead over the team that was just one catch away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl last year. The game was all but over.
Joe Flacco, who seemed to be improving week by week, had a day he’d love to forget. He was picked off twice, tossed just one touchdown and had only 147 yards passing.
“They played well. We didn’t,” Flacco said, “They played fast and we just weren’t able to stand up to it today and give it a good fight.”
Both teams now enter their bye week. While Baltimore will have to wait an extra week for the opportunity to redeem themselves, the Texans will spend that time aspiring to build upon their nearly flawless performance.
Image Courtesy of Houston Texans