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

By Jamison Hensley

BALTIMORE -- Thoughts on the Ravens' 29-14 win against the Texans:

What it means: The Ravens once again show why they're one of the best teams in the AFC by putting away the Texans, who were playing without wide receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker Mario Williams. Baltimore remained in first place and improved to 4-1 for the second straight season. Down 14-13 in the third quarter, the Ravens scored on four of their next five possessions to finish off their third consecutive win.

Thumbs up: Ravens defense. If it seemed like the Texans were in Ravens territory all game, it's because they were. Houston crossed midfield on six of its first seven drives. But the Ravens only gave up two touchdowns (one came on a fumble recovery by an offensive lineman in the end zone) and made a strong fourth-down stand in the first half.

Joe Flacco takes hits, delivers them: Flacco took a beating but he came through when the Ravens needed him. He was accurate on the intermediate passes on the opening drive and made the two big plays (completions of 51 and 56 yards) in the second half. Flacco finished with two turnovers (a fumble and interception).

Just for kicks: Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff converted five field goals (from 43, 48, 25, 33 and 40 yards) and recorded six touchbacks. This is the second time that Cundiff has made five field goals in a game for the Ravens.

Cooking with Rice: Ray Rice outplayed the reigning NFL rushing champion Arian Foster, running for 101 yards and making five catches for 60 yards. His 27-yard run set up the game-clinching touchdown.

What's next: The Ravens play on Monday night at the Jaguars (1-5), who have lost five games in a row.