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Sunday, October 16, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Ravens 29, Texans 14

By Paul Kuharsky

BALTIMORE -- Thoughts on the Houston Texans' 29-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

What it means: The Texans lost their second game in a row, and the enthusiasm over their 3-1 record seems so, so long ago now that they’re 3-3. They’re out of first place in the AFC South because the 3-2 Titans had the week off.

What I didn’t like: Joe Flacco is hardly the best quarterback the Texans will see, but twice in the second half, the Texans allowed deep completions. Torrey Smith caught a 51-yard ball over Kareem Jackson and Anquan Boldin grabbed a 56-yard throw. On the first a defender was bearing down on Flacco, on the second he got hit by Antonio Smith. The Texans can ill afford to give up such plays, and they cause some flashbacks to last year.

What I liked: Both of those big gainers didn’t result in touchdowns. The Texans stopped Baltimore from getting in the end zone, forcing field goals that allowed them to stay within a score.

What else I didn’t like: After those big pass plays and field goals, the Ravens managed to get Ray Rice going. His 27-yard run set up a Ricky Williams touchdown that made it 26-14 with 4:01 left. A 12-point deficit with one timeout remaining against the Ravens on the road is a tall order. The offense failed to find the sort of big plays it needed to keep up when it needed them. Andre Johnson sure could have helped.

What’s next: The Texans head for Nashville and a big AFC South matchup with the division lead on the line. Tennessee is coming off a bye. Will Johnson return from the hamstring injury that has cost him two games?