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Texans 43, Ravens 13

Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph, right, intercepts a pass intended for Ravens receiver Torrey Smith and takes off for a 52-yard touchdown return, giving Houston a 16-3 lead in the second quarter. The pass was deflected at the line by defensive end J.J. Watt. The Texans scored 29 consecutive points, nine by the defense, after falling behind 3-0 early.

Associated Press

Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph, right, intercepts a pass intended for Ravens receiver Torrey Smith and takes off for a 52-yard touchdown return, giving Houston a 16-3 lead in the second quarter. The pass was deflected at the line by defensive end J.J. Watt. The Texans scored 29 consecutive points, nine by the defense, after falling behind 3-0 early.

HOUSTON — The Texans look like the new bullies in the AFC, for now.

Matt Schaub threw two touchdown passes, Arian Foster ran for two scores and the Texans dominated a showdown of the conference's top two teams, routing the Ravens 43-13 on Sunday.

Johnathan Joseph returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and the Texans finally beat Baltimore, which won all six previous meetings and eliminated them from last year's playoffs.

Houston heads into its open date with a much better outlook after getting embarrassed by Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay last week. Schaub was 23-of-37 for 256 yards as Houston set a franchise record for points in a game and gained 420 yards.

"We were really into what we were doing," coach Gary Kubiak said, "and we were there all day long, so it was a good team effort."

The Ravens missed star linebacker Ray Lewis, who was placed on injured reserve last week with a torn triceps. Terrell Suggs, last year's defensive player of the year, saw his first action since having surgery on his right Achilles tendon in May. Suggs, a linebacker, sacked Schaub in the first quarter and finished with three solo tackles.

Otherwise, Baltimore's defense seemed overmatched without Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb, also on injured reserve. Safety Ed Reed, who acknowledged last week that he has been playing with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, left in the fourth quarter with a chest injury. Reed said he felt fine after the game.

The Ravens gave up their most points since a 44-20 loss to Indianapolis in 2007.

"It's not the end of the world," Suggs said, "but it's not something we're going to take lightly, either."

Baltimore's offense didn't look any better. Quarterback Joe Flacco was off-target and under pressure most of the game, and running back Ray Rice was held to 42 yards.

The Ravens led 3-0, then started unraveling after Donnie Jones' punt pinned them at their 3-yard line late in the first quarter. Houston linebacker Connor Barwin charged in from Flacco's blind side and tackled him in the end zone for a sack and a safety.

Schaub found Andre Johnson for a 12-yard gain, then hit Kevin Walter for a 25-yard touchdown.

J.J. Watt really got Houston rolling in the second quarter when he swatted a Flacco pass, his ninth deflection this season. Joseph, who missed practice time last week with a groin injury, caught the ball and sprinted to the end zone as part of a 29-0 run.

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Texans 43, Ravens 13 10/21/12 [Last modified: Sunday, October 21, 2012 9:28pm]
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