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Texans lose to Ravens 41-13


Kevin Bentley had his first-career sack in the first half.

The Texans continue to dig themselves in holes that they can't escape from by turning the ball over.

In the team's 41-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Reliant Stadium, the Texans gave the ball away four times on four interceptions by quarterback Sage Rosenfels. Combined with a safety that resulted from a holding penalty in the end zone, the Ravens scored 16 points off Houston giveaways.

Head coach Gary Kubiak was asked about the interceptions after the game.

"I think one or maybe two of them were tipped, but he was trying to make plays there at the end and I probably put him in some tough tough situations as a coach," Kubiak said. "So I take responsibility for that."

With the second-ranked defense in the NFL coming into the game, the Ravens were exactly what the Texans anticipated and then some. Baltimore limited Houston to only 75 net rushing yards in the game and a three-of-eight conversion rate on third down.

Running back Ryan Moats, who recently was promoted from the practice squad, led the Texans with 34 rushing yards on seven carries, while Steve Slaton and Ahman Green combined for eight carries for 26 yards.

The Texans, who controlled the ball for less than 24 minutes, also were hurt by penalties. The team was flagged 10 times for 76 yards. One holding penalty negated a 58-yard touchdown catch by Slaton, while another holding penalty on a punt return pushed the team back to its three-yard line and was followed on the next play by the safety.

Defensively, the Texans did the best they could in unfavorable situations. Baltimore started three drives in Houston territory after interceptions and never began a possession from inside their 20-yard line. While the run defense broke down later in the game, the Texans' pass rush continues to improve. The team collected three sacks to set a team record with six consecutive games with two or more sacks.

The game got out of hand in the fourth quarter, when two of Rosenfels' interceptions occurred. The Texans trailed only 12-6 at halftime and 19-13 after three quarters.

"We fell apart at a certain part of the football game," Kubiak said. "You know we are in a tough football game against a good team and then midway or late in the third quarter...we just kind of self destructed. Give them (Baltimore) credit. They did a hell of a job. I obviously did a poor job of having my guys ready for the second half."

{QUOTE}Baltimore took the lead with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter when quarterback Joe Flacco unleashed a 43-yard bomb to wide receiver Yamon Figurs on third-and-13 from the Houston 43. Kubiak explained later that the score was caused by a missed assignment on the team's two deep defense.

Tight end Owen Daniels picked up the Texans' first fresh set of downs on the ensuing drive when he caught a 13-yard pass to the Houston 48. A 20-yard pass to Johnson two plays later put the offense in scoring range. After wide receiver David Anderson's 13-yard catch and a 10-yard penalty on linebacker Ray Lewis, Rosenfels' play action pass intended for Daniels from the one-yard line was tipped and intercepted in the end zone by defensive end Haloti Ngata.

Asked why the team opted to pass on the one-yard line, Kubiak explained his decision making.

"I had no problem with that," Kubiak said. "I enjoyed doing that and we've been successful doing that. We had a play we should be successful on again but…. I wish I wouldn't have now."

After Slaton's 58-yard touchdown was negated by a holding penalty on Daniels, Rosenfels threw 45 yards to wide receiver Jacoby Jones on the next play to give Houston a first down at the five-yard line. Three plays later, after a short run and two incompletions, Kris Brown converted a 23-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 6:48 left in the first half.

After Sam Koch's 52-yard punt and a two-yard holding penalty on Houston on the punt return, Baltimore forced a safety when left tackle Duane Brown was flagged for holding in the end zone with 4:01 left in the first half.

On the last play before the two-minute warning, Flacco found tight end Todd Heap open for a 20-yard gain to the Houston 39. After a third-and-seven pass fell incomplete from the 36-yard line, kicker Steve Hauschka nailed a 54-yard field goal that extended the Ravens' lead to 12-3 with 1:01 left in the second quarter.

A 22-yard catch by Anderson and Rosenfels' 15-yard scramble off the right end gave Houston a first down at the Baltimore 45 with 18 seconds left. After two more completions for 12 yards, Slaton rushed three yards to set up Brown's 48-yard field goal that made the score 12-6 at halftime.

On the opening drive of the second half, Baltimore drove 75 yards on 11 plays. On third-and-three from the Houston 23, Flacco passed long to the back corner of the end zone for Heap. The ball fell incomplete, but linebacker Morlon Greenwood was penalized for pass interference, leading to running back Willis McGahee's one-yard touchdown run.

The Texans' subsequent drive ended with a turnover when Rosenfels was pressured and threw a pass over the middle that linebacker Ray Lewis intercepted and returned 29 yards to the Houston 41.

The Texans rebounded when rookie linebacker Xavier Adibi forced a third-and-10 from the Houston 32 after stopping running back Ray Rice for no gain on his first-career tackle. On the next play, Flacco was pressured into an incompletion, setting up Stover's 50-yard field goal that missed wide left.

Capitalizing on the field position, Rosenfels found wide receiver Kevin Walter in stride for a 60-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage. Walter cut across the middle and outran two defenders for his sixth touchdown of the season.

Holding and illegal contact penalties on the Texans gave the Ravens 10 yards and a key first down on the next possession. On second-and-10 at the Houston 38, Flacco passed 21 yards to wide receiver Derrick Mason on the last play of the third quarter. Inside the red zone, cornerback Jaques Reeves was flagged for pass interference on third-and-eight at the Houston 15, which led to Flacco's one-yard touchdown pass to Heap with 14:03 left in the game. On the two-point conversion, Flacco's pass to Mason gave the Ravens a 27-13 lead.

Following a Ravens punt, the Texans began their fourth drive of the second half from their 10-yard line with 10:03 remaining in the game. On third-and-eight, Rosenfels passed to Johnson, who eluded a defender to pick up a new set of downs. Two plays later, Rosenfels overthrew Johnson and was picked off again by Lewis, who returned it 14 yards to the Houston 19.

Using some trickery, Baltimore lined up with quarterback Troy Smith in the shotgun formation. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State rolled right to find Heap open for a 14-yard touchdown pass that stretched Baltimore's lead to 34-13 after Stover's extra point.

After Rosenfels' fourth interception on the next drive, when cornerback Samari Rolle stepped in front of his pass for Johnson at the Houston 20, the Ravens added to their lead courtesy of McGahee's four-yard touchdown run with 4:42 left in the game.

Injury report

  • Baltimore wide receiver Derrick Mason left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder strain. He returned in the second half.
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