Posted on November 28, 2017, by Travis Pulver
All the injuries the Houston Texans have been afflicted with this season made their chances of making it to the playoffs this season slim. But heading into Monday Night Football, they still had a good chance of making it in. They just had to beat a Baltimore Ravens team that was struggling on offense as much as they are.
With how well the offense looked last week against the Arizona Cardinals, it wasn’t crazy to think the Texans could pull it off. To do so, they needed to win many aspects of the game. But there was one that was an absolute must— turnovers.
Tom Savage threw two interceptions and fumbled once. Two of them led to 10 points for the Ravens, and the other killed Houston’s final chance to tie the game. Baltimore kept their own fading playoff hopes alive for another week with a 23-16 win.
Turnovers have been an issue for Savage all season. With three Monday night, he has 12 on the season including seven fumbles.
Factor out the turnovers, and the Texans offense played a good game. Despite not being able to run the ball well (66 total rushing yards), they led in time of possession (30:16 to 29: 44) and outgained the Ravens as well (303 yards to 294 yards).
With the help of a few penalties, Savage was able to guide the team on a nine-play, 90-yard touchdown drive on their first possession of the game. Baltimore didn’t tie the game until early in the second quarter when Javorius Allen ran it in from ten yards out.
An interception on Houston’s next drive gave Baltimore the short field, and the Ravens took advantage of it. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco needed just five plays to cover 46 yards and take a 14-7 lead. Both teams tacked on field goals to make the score at halftime 17-10, Baltimore.
The second half featured both defenses playing a ‘bend but don’t break’ style. Both offenses had some success moving the ball, but no one had enough to get in the end zone. Each tacked on a pair of field goals. Baltimore kicked the last one late in the fourth to make the final score 23-16, Ravens.
Houston is not statistically eliminated at this point in the season. But it would take a lot of chaos for them to make it in now. Savage will get roasted for the turnovers he had in this game, but otherwise, he did not do a bad job. Moving the ball against a very good Ravens defense without the help of a running game is not easy to do, but he did it.
With 252 yards on the night (22-37), he became the first quarterback to throw for more than 250 yards against them this season.
Of course, moral victories mean nothing. It’s not like a poor record will benefit them in the draft either (since they traded their first-round pick to Cleveland so that they could take Deshaun Watson). Houston travels to Tennessee next week to take on the Titans.
Baltimore has to be happy with the win, and the big plays members of the defense made. However, they have to be able to generate more offense if they want to do more than just make the playoffs. Flacco was only 20-32 for 141 yards on the night. But his 25-yard run late in the game iced the Texans and secured the win.
The Ravens will welcome the Lions to town next week.