Okay, it wasn’t exactly a “beatdown”—in fact, for most of the game, the physical beatings were being administered by the still-extremely-physical defensive front seven of the Houston Texans.
But the Ravens plodded through another mundane offensive showing while their defense made hay with some timely finesse, despite a monster showing against coverage from the fabulous receiver DeAndre Hopkins. And Texans QB Tom Savage made one too many telegraphed passes into double and triple coverage.
Terrell Suggs led an aggressive Baltimore defense that kept Houston out of the end zone for the final 51 minutes, and the Ravens went deep in the playbook on offense to squeeze out a 23-16 victory on Monday night.
The Ravens forced three turnovers, two in the final five minutes. After Suggs stripped the ball from quarterback Tom Savage and Baltimore recovered, Justin Tucker kicked his third field goal with 2:53 remaining for a seven-point cushion.
Anthony Levine then intercepted a Savage pass to clinch it.
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh called for a fake punt, converted a fourth down with a rarely used pitchout and had quarterback Joe Flacco line up at wide receiver on a play in which Collins took a direct snap.
All of this added spice to a stagnant offense that protected the ball and did just enough to win.
Flacco went 20 for 32 for 141 yards.
The Ravens (6-5) have won consecutive games for the first time since they opened the season 2-0. They are now above .500 for the first time since Oct. 8 and tied with Buffalo for the final AFC wild-card spot.
Houston (4-7) has lost four of five. Savage has started the last four games in place of injured DeShaun Watson.
Savage completed 22 of 37 passes for 252 yards. But he was picked off twice by the Ravens, who increased their NFL-leading total to 18.
Aided by three penalties against Baltimore, the Texans traveled the length of the field and went up 7-0 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller.
Early in the second quarter, after a third-down incompletion, the Ravens appeared poised to punt for the fourth time in four series. But Koch lofted a pass to Chris Moore, a play that went for 22 yards to the Houston 19. That set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Javorius Allen, who reached the end zone with a healthy push from several of his teammates.
Ravens: LB C.J. Mosley was placed in the concussion protocol in the third quarter and quickly cleared.
|Passing 1st downs||11||7|
|Rushing 1st downs||4||7|
|1st downs from penalties||5||3|
|3rd down efficiency||6-14||3-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||2-2|
|Yards per Play||4.7||4.5|
|Yards per pass||6.1||4.6|
|Yards per rush||2.6||4.5|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-4||2-4|