Houston left to wonder what might have been after leading early.
After struggling to put points on the board early versus the Houston Texans defence, the Baltimore Ravens were in need of a spark.
Enter Daryl Smith.
The Ravens linebacker was the catalyst for his side’s comeback effort when he picked off a pass from the Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub and returned it 37-yards for the crucial score.
If was from that moment the Ravens began to wake up and went on to cruise to a 30-9 victory at home over a shell-shocked Houston side.
Less then two minutes after Smith’s influential TD, Tandon Doss scored on a 82-yard punt return and the momentum was theirs to lose against one of the better sides in the AFC East.
The Ravens missed the presence of running back Ray Rice with the three-time Pro Bowl player being forced out with an injured hip flexor.
Baltimore got only four first downs and 65 yards of offense in the first half, yet went to the locker room with a 17-9 lead.
“Over a four-play sequence, we give them 14 points,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “That’s where the game turned, and we were playing catch-up all game long.”
Much of the credit for the Ravens’ win goes to the team’s defence who continued to work well together despite featuring a host of news faces and combinations.
The unit has now not given up a touchdown in eight quarters going back to their season-opener when they were thrashed by a red-hot Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Joe Flacco was 16 of 24 for 171 yards to help the Ravens avenge last year’s 43-13 blowout loss in Houston.
The Texans fell to 0-4 in Baltimore, including a defeat in the 2011 postseason. Houston came in as a slight favorite, but the Ravens again proved formidable at home, where they’re 35-7 since the start of the 2008 season.
The Texans will take on the Seattle Seahawks in week four while the Ravens will look to keep up their good work when they clash with the 1-2 Buffalo Bills.