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Postgame notebook: Texans vs. Ravens


Hopes dashed:With their record now at 5-8, the Texans are three games back in the AFC South with three games left in the regular season.

To make the playoffs, they would have to win their final three games, the Jaguars (8-5) would have to lose their final three games and the Colts (7-6) would have to beat the Jaguars next week and then lose their next two games. And then the Texans would have to win a tiebreaker with both teams.

In other words, the Texans' playoff hopes are all but gone.

"I told (the team) we're playing for our pride these next three weeks, and there's a hell of a lot of pride in that (locker) room," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "We will play well. We will work hard, and we will play well."

The Texans have lost six of their last seven since starting out the season 4-2.

"At the beginning of the year, we had a different plan of how this season was going to go, and it wasn't exactly this," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "We are a resilient group... We are going to fight tooth and nail in each of these last three games no matter what, regardless of the situation or what lies ahead."

Williams limited:Defensive end Mario Williams was sidelined by a sports hernia injury for much of the second half. He finished the game with zero tackles.

"It is what it is," Williams said. "It's definitely something that is continuing in agony. It's a lot of pain, but you're just out there trying to give it all you can to help us to get in position to win."

Kubiak said that Williams has been playing through soreness for the last eight or nine weeks.

"I just know he's being bothered," Kubiak said. "Basically, he's been told when he can't go to raise his hand and we'll take him out. Timmy (Jamison) is playing good, so we're trying to just be smart. It's going to be a gut-check all the way through with him… We'll see where he's at week-to-week."

Daniels' return:Tight end Owen Daniels returned after missing the last five games with a hamstring injury. He had five catches for 91 yards and was targeted 11 times.

"It felt really good to play football and be out there," Daniels said.

Daniels caught three passes of at least 23 yards, including a spectacular one-handed catch in the second quarter, but he also had several drops in the first half.

"I think it was just a case of being so wide open that I wanted to run with it before I had it," Daniels said. "I had the one part down, getting open versus man coverage. I'm glad I got that back into me. I just have to be able to catch it. I can tip it to myself and catch it, but I can't catch it when I'm wide open."

Milestones reached:Running back Arian Foster set the Texans' single-season record for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage on Monday night. He now has 1,328 rushing yards and 1,832 yards from scrimmage on the season. The previous records were 1,282 (Steve Slaton, 2008) and 1,776 (Domanick Williams, 2004), respectively.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson surpassed 9,000 career receiving yards in his 114th game, becoming the sixth-fastest NFL receiver to do so. Johnson had 140 yards against the Ravens, giving him 9,106 in his career.

Schaub became the Texans' all-time leading passer with a 23-yard pass to Daniels in the fourth quarter. He passed David Carr's old record of 13,391 yards. Schaub finished the game with 393 yards, giving him 13,536 as a Texan.

Kicker Neil Rackers made a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter to pass the 1,000-point mark for his career. He became the 44th kicker in NFL history with 1,000 points.

Attacking Flacco: The Texans had a season-high five sacks in the game on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Linebacker Brian Cushing and safety Bernard Pollard had 1.5 sacks apiece. Linebacker Darryl Sharpton and defensive end Mark Anderson each had one sack.

"I think our defensive line has been very consistent, especially from an effort standpoint," Kubiak said. "Bill (Kollar) gets great effort out of the group on a consistent basis. We were very disappointed last week in how we played on the defensive line. That was addressed, and obviously they came back this week and played extremely well. I'm proud of their effort."

Special teams struggles:The Texans continued to struggle on special teams. Their average starting field position was at their own 16-yard line. The Ravens' average starting field position was their 34-yard line.

The Texans didn't have a kickoff return longer than 25 yards, while the Ravens scored on a 103-yard kickoff return by David Reed to start the second half. Ravens punter Sam Koch pinned the Texans inside their 20-yard line on five of his seven punts. The last one came two plays before Schaub threw a pick-six to cornerback Josh Wilson to end the game.

Surprising stats:The Texans outgained the Ravens 489 yards to 253, an astounding margin in a losing effort. It was Baltimore's lowest yardage output of the season. The Ravens didn't have a single drive longer than 44 yards on Monday night.

The Texans had the edge in time of possession, 31:47 to 31:18, and were a perfect 4-of-4 on fourth down. They averaged 5.0 yards per carry to the Ravens' 2.6.

Second-half outburst:The Texans' much-maligned defense pitched a shutout after halftime, when they allowed only 71 yards and five first downs. The Ravens' 13 points in the second half and overtime came courtesy of Reed's kickoff return and Wilson's interception return.

On offense, the Texans had 301 yards in the second half. The Ravens' defense had allowed an average of 306 yards per game coming in. It was all part of a stirring comeback from a 28-7 deficit.

"Once we did come back, I felt like we had it won," defensive end Antonio Smith. "I think that's how we took the field in overtime and in the fourth quarter. I think that's probably the best we played against a good team in the fourth quarter as a defense. To have it happen like it did happen, I don't know what to think. Somewhere, God has a plan. I just don't know what it is."

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