Veteran quarterback Matt Schaub passed for two touchdowns and running back Arian Foster added another two touchdowns as the Houston Texans routed the Baltimore Ravens, 43-13, on Oct. 21 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

The win marked the first time the Texans have beaten the Ravens in seven tries and pushed Houston’s overall record to 6-1. The Ravens fell to 5-2 overall.

Houston leapt out to a huge lead in the first half, scoring 29 unanswered points in the first and second quarter on both offense and defense.

The Texans’ first points of the game were scored on defense Connor Barwin sacked Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco for a safety. Schaub then tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Walter for a 9-3 lead over the Ravens. The lead was extended to 16-3 after Houston cornerback Jonathan Joseph picked off Flacco and returned the ball 52 yards for another defensive touchdown.

Houston pushed the lead to 23-3 with another Schaub touchdown pass, this time caught by tight end Owen Daniels. A pair of field goals made it 29-3 at halftime.

Flacco responded in the second half for the Ravens, tossing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Tandon Doss to cut the lead to 29-10. But Houston extended their lead with a long drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Arian Foster. Baltimore wouldn’t get close for the remainder of the game.

Most Outstanding Player(s) of the Game:

Schaub and Foster both had outstanding games against the Ravens. Schaub completed 23-of-37 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns, while Foster ran for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Texans’ pro bowl receiver Andre Johnson was on the receiving end of most of Schaub’s passes, catching nine passes for 86 yards.

Unsung Hero of the Game:

Few Ravens stood out amid the rout, but Ravens’ star linebacker Terrell Suggs played in his first game today since recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in the offseason. Most medical experts said the recovery from such an injury is at least six months, but Suggs, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, made a miraculous early return against the Texans. The Ravens didn’t win, but Suggs made his presence felt, finishing the game with three tackles, a sack and a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage.

More Game Notes:

The Texans recorded a total of 420 yards on offense, compared to a meager 176 yards recorded by the Ravens. Houston also controlled the battle of time possession, holding the ball for 38 minutes compared to the Ravens’ 22 minutes.

Flacco had one of his least impressive performances against a very tough Texans’ defense, completing 21-of-43 passes for only 147 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, although both interceptions were tipped passes and not exactly the quarterback’s fault. Flacco’s lone touchdown was caught by second-year receiver Doss, who caught his first touchdown of his young career. Doss has really reliable catching hands and may be used to replace veteran receiver Anquan Boldin years from now in the future.

The Ravens played their first game this season without veteran leader Ray Lewis and pro bowl caliber cornerback Lardarius Webb, both sidelined with season-ending injuries. Lewis’ replacement, Danelle Ellerbe played well, recording nine tackles. Webb’s replacement, second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith struggled, however, giving up a few big passes down the field.

The Ravens have a bye week on Oct. 28, returning to action Nov. 4 in a road game against the Cleveland Browns. 


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor