From the press box - 2:52 p.m.The Texans were starting to put together a drive in the hopes of trimming down their 27-13 deficit, but Rosenfels threw his third interception of the game with 8:06 left to play. His pass on second-and-five from the 25-yard line was intended for Andre Johnson, but it went about three yards behind him and right to Ray Lewis once again. After the interception, Lewis' second of the game, Lewis took the ball 14 yards to the Texans' 19-yard line.
Three plays later, quarterback Troy Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap to make the score 34-13.
Rosenfels then threw his fourth interception of the game on the first play of Texans' next drive from the Houston 13-yard line. Willis McGahee ran in for a four-yard score, and all of a sudden what was a very competitive game is now a 41-13 walloping. I'm going down to the field to prepare for postgame coverage. Be sure to check out HoustonTexans.com for coach Gary Kubiak's live postgame press conference.
From the press box - 2:32 p.m.My goodness. Another flag gave the Ravens a first-and-goal from the one-yard line, and they added some cushion to their lead with a touchdown pass from Flacco to tight end Todd Heap. A two-point conversion gave the Ravens a 27-13 lead with 14:03 left in the game.
The Texans had the Ravens in a third-and-eight from the 15-yard line. Flacco dropped back to pass and got hit by defensive end Tim Bulman, and his pass intended for Mark Clayton near the goal line fell incomplete. But Jacques Reeves was flagged for pass interference on the play, setting the Ravens up for another touchdown instead of bringing on the field goal unit in a 19-13 game. As one might imagine, the crowd booed the penalty heavily. The Texans have now been flagged 10 times for 76 yards.
Paid attendance for today's game was just announced at 70,552.
From the press box - 2:23 p.m.The officiating is going from questionable to downright head-scratching. First, the officials had a bizarre non-call of intentional grounding prior to the Ravens' 49-yard field goal attempt. Rookie defensive tackle Frank Okam and cornerback Dunta Robinson brought the heat on Joe Flacco on the third down play, almost bringing him down for a sack. But Flacco underhanded the ball forward to no one in particular as he was being dragged down, and even though the ball didn't appear to pass the line of scrimmage, no flag was thrown.
Now, with the Ravens trying to mount a drive, the Texans have been flagged twice by the same official on the Texans' sideline. On the first play of the drive, Flacco threw an incomplete pass intended for fullback Le'Ron McClain, but defensive end Anthony Weaver was penalized for defensive holding. Then, on first-and-10 from their own 39-yard line, cornerback Fred Bennett was flagged for illegal contact on a deep pass intended for Derrick Mason. Both calls drew plenty of outbursts from Texans players and coaches, and both calls were met with heavy boos from the crowd.
From the press box - 2:17 p.m.How quickly the tide has turned in this one. With 3:12 left in the third quarter, the Ravens were lined up for a 49-yard field goal that would have made the score 22-6. With 3:01 left in the third quarter, the Texans trail only 19-13 after Matt Stover missed the field goal and Rosenfels hit Kevin Walter for a 60-yard touchdown pass.
Walter came across the middle from the right side of the field, and he ran about 40 yards after the catch up the left sideline. It was Walter's sixth touchdown of the season and the longest reception of his career.
From the press box - 2:05 p.m.
A gimme interception by Ray Lewis put a premature end to another Texans drive. Rosenfels was pressured by Haloti Ngata and lofted a pass that went straight to Lewis, who had nobody around him. Lewis returned the ball 29 yards to the Texans' 41-yard line.
Like Rosenfels' first interception of the game, this one came on a first down. The Texans had moved the ball down to the Ravens' 39-yard line after a couple of catches by Andre Johnson. The mistakes keep piling up for the Texans.From the press box - 2:00 p.m.Another big penalty hurt the Texans on the Ravens' opening drive of the second half, and the Ravens now lead 19-6. Linebacker Morlon Greenwood was penalized for pass interference on third-and-three from the 23-yard line. Flacco's pass on the play was intended for tight end Todd Heap in the left corner of the end zone.
Greenwood's penalty gave the Ravens first-and-goal at the one-yard line, and Willis McGahee punched it in on second down. The Ravens brought in defensive end Haloti Ngata to help block on the play.
Baltimore drove 75 yards on 11 plays, using 5:44 off the clock.
From the press box - 1:40 p.m.Here's a little statistical recap of the action in what I call "Halftime by the Numbers":
12-6: The score, with the Texans trailing
203-167: Texans' yardage total vs. Ravens'
11-9: Texans' first downs total vs. Ravens'
25: Texans' percentage of successful conversions on third down (one-for-four)
161: Passing yards by quarterback Sage Rosenfels
58: Number of yards on running back Steve Slaton's touchdown reception that was called back by a holding penalty
6: Penalties against the Texans, for 30 yards
7: Penalties against the Ravens, for 55 yards
4.2: The Texans' yards-per-carry average against the NFL's top-ranked rushing defense
3: Sacks by the Texans on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco
4: Number of times Flacco was sacked in the Ravens' previous three games
41: Receiving yards for David Anderson on three receptions
8: Tackles for linebacker DeMeco Ryans (leads all players)
2: Field goals by Texans kicker Kris Brown
12: Consecutive field goals made by Brown this season
From the press box - 1:30 p.m.The Texans go into the locker room down 12-6 at halftime. Kris Brown booted a 48-yard field goal on the last play of the first half after Rosenfels led the Texans 52 yards down the field in seven plays.
Before that drive, the Ravens capitalized on their good field position provided by the safety with a 54-yard field goal that made the score 12-3 with a minute left in the first half. Steve Hauschka, a rookie from North Carolina State, made the kick. It was the first field goal attempt of his career. The Ravens had to move the ball only 22 yards on the drive.
The Ravens tried a trick play that didn't work on the drive. Backup quarterback Troy Smith lined up under center with Joe Flacco out wide. Smith took the snap and threw the ball to Flacco behind the line of scrimmage. Flacco threw it back to the left sideline for Smith, who would have had room to run, but the pass was low and Smith couldn't hang on to it. The result: A very complicated incomplete pass. And Mario Williams crushed Smith on the play, making it more of a highlight for the Texans than Ravens.
Halftime by the numbers coming up in a second. The Ravens will receive at the start of the second half.
From the press box - 1:17 p.m.Penalties are killing the Texans right now. Rookie left tackle Duane Brown was flagged for holding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety. Holding in the end zone results in a safety by rule, and Brown was all over linebacker Terrell Suggs on the play. That made the score 9-3, Ravens, right after the Texans' defense had forced a stop thanks in part to a 15-yard sack by linebacker Kevin Bentley.
On Matt Turk's punt after the safety, he was flagged for being offsides. I'm not sure how the guy who's kicking the ball can be offsides, but I guess that's why I'm not a referee. Turk had to re-kick, and the Ravens got about 10 more yards as a result when Figurs ran the ball to the Baltimore 42-yard line.
The Texans' drive prior to the one that produced a safety was marred by penalties as well. A holding call on tight end Owen Daniels nullified a 58-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown by Steve Slaton. Rosenfels hit wide receiver Jacoby Jones for a 45-yard gain to the six-yard line on the next play, but the Texans had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Kris Brown. The Texans have been penalized six times for 29 yards at the two-minute mark of the second quarter.
From the press box - 12:43 p.m.I'll be back shortly - gotta run down to the field to pick up some game photos. The Ravens have a first down on on the Houston 45-yard line.
From the press box - 12:40 p.m.A great Texans drive was all for naught, as Rosenfels threw an interception in the end zone. He had Daniels wide open in the back of the end zone, but 6-4, 345-pound defensive end Haloti Ngata jumped up, deflected the pass and caught it on its way down right at the goal line. The Texans were in first-and-goal from the one-yard line on the play after a pass interference penalty one play earlier.
Turnovers have plagued the Texans all season, often mitigating the success of their fourth-ranked offense. Rosenfels threw an interception in the end zone last week at Minnesota, and it proved costly in a 28-21 loss.
The play prior to the pass interference penalty, receiver David Anderson made a sensational one-handed catch on the right sideline. Ravens corners Corey Ivy and Samari Rolle were swarming around Anderson on the play.
From the press box - 12:32 p.m.The Texans couldn't convert on third-and-short on their first two drives, so, naturally, they converted on third-and-eight on their third possession. Rosenfels found Owen Daniels (who seems to catch nothing but first downs) for a 13-yard gain to move the chains to the Houston 48-yard line.
Two plays later, Rosenfels hit Andre Johnson for a 20-yard gain to the Baltimore 29-yard line.
Ryan Moats is getting some looks on this drive. He returned the Ravens' kickoff 32 yards to the 33-yard line, and has also gotten two carries (for three yards) on offense.
From the press box - 12:27 p.m.Flacco completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to receiver Yamon Figurs on third-and-13. Somebody forgot to cover Figurs on the play, and Flacco found him wide open in the middle of the field between safeties Eugene Wilson and Nick Ferguson. Flacco's best receiver, Derrick Mason, was on the sidelines during the play with a shoulder strain.
Mason hit the turf hard earlier in the drive after jumping to try and catch a pass on the left sideline. His return is questionable.
The Ravens targeted Jacques Reeves on the drive, and Reeves stepped up to the challenge. From the Houston 48-yard line, Flacco aired out a pass to the end zone for receiver Derrick Mason, but Reeves jumped in front of the pass and batted it down. Reeves also was draping Mason on the play on which he got hurt.From the press box - 12:16 p.m.Two possessions, two three-and-outs for Rosenfels and the Texans. The Texans got at least seven yards on first down on both possessions - an eight-yard pass from Rosenfels to Walter on the first drive and a seven-yard run by Ahman Green on the second. Rosenfels has been unable to complete a pass since his first throw of the game, though. Baltimore is driving with first down just past midfield.
From the press box - 12:10 p.m.Big Earl Cochran came up with a big play on the Ravens' first third down of the game, sacking quarterback Joe Flacco for a 13-yard loss. Cochran also recorded a sack last week against the Minnesota Vikings.
Defensive end Tim Bulman was held on the play, drawing a flag. I guess the Ravens held the wrong guy.
From the press box - 12:05 p.m.The Texans won the toss and elected to receive. Former President George H.W. Bush, serving as an honorary captain for today's Salute to the Military game, flipped the coin. The Texans are wearing their all-white uniforms today - jerseys and pants.
Running back Ryan Moats returned the kickoff 18 yards to the 20-yard line. Rosenfels completed an eight-yard pass to Kevin Walter on the Texans' first play from scrimmage, but he followed that up with two incompletions and the Texans were forced to punt.
From the press box - 12:03 p.m.Texans fans were chanting for Sage Rosenfels earlier this season. They're getting him today.
With Matt Schaub sidelined for at least the next two weeks with an MCL injury, Rosenfels will get one of the biggest opportunities of his seven-year career. Rosenfels was 4-1 as a starter last season when Schaub missed time due to injuries. He started one game this season in Week 5 against the Indianpolis Colts and played a brilliant game until committing three turnovers in the final minutes of the game.
Filling in for Schaub in the second half last week, Rosenfels was 21-of-29 for 224 yards and two touchdowns and an interception.
He has the confidence of his coaches and teammates. Can Sage lead them to victory today?
From the press box - 10:41 a.m.
With kickoff for the Texans-Ravens game less than 90 minutes away, here are the inactives and roster changes, hot off the press:
Texans inactives are:
8 QB Matt Schaub
11 WR André Davis
47 S Will Demps
51 LB Chaun Thompson
64 G Kasey Studdard
78 T Rashad Butler
87 TE Mark Bruener
91 DT Amobi Okoye
Changes to the Texans' starting lineup:Sage Rosenfels will start at quarterback for Schaub. DelJuan Robinson will start at defensive tackle for Okoye. Kevin Bentley will start at strongside linebacker for Zac Diles, who was placed on the injured reserve list earlier this week.
Ravens inactives are:2 QB Todd Bouman
21 CB Chris McAlister
26 S Dawan Landry
50 LB Antwan Barnes
64 T Oniel Cousins
81 WR Marcus Smith
83 TE Daniel Wilcox
96 DT Lamar Divens
Changes to the Ravens' starting lineup:Willie Anderson will start at right tackle for Adam Terry. Fabian Washington will start at left cornerback for McAlister. Jim Leonhard will start at strong safety for Landry.