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Flacco throws 3 interceptions in 25-13 loss to Houston, hurting Ravens' playoff hopes

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HOUSTON — The Baltimore Ravens want to leave behind what happened Sunday in Houston and focus on bouncing back next week.

Running back Arian Foster threw for a touchdown, Randy Bullock made a franchise-record six field goals and the Texans' defense dominated in a 25-13 win.

The Ravens (9-6) now need some help next week to get into the postseason after Joe Flacco threw a season-high three interceptions and the offense struggled all day.

"I told the guys in the locker room: 'Anything we don't need stays here,'" coach John Harbaugh said. "We're only taking back with us what we can use to go play, compete and beat the Cleveland Browns. Period."

With three quarterbacks hurt, the Texans started Case Keenum, who got his first win in nine NFL starts.

Houston (8-7) remains in the hunt but needs several teams to lose next week.

Foster ran for 96 yards. But his highlight came when he took a pitch from Keenum and, with a defender in his face, threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz to make it 16-0 in the second quarter.

Keenum lost each of his eight starts last season before being released by the Texans in training camp. They signed the former record-setting University of Houston star off the St. Louis practice squad Monday after both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Savage were injured last Sunday with Ryan Mallett already out for the season.

Keenum threw for 185 yards with an interception.

Flacco had thrown just one interception in his last five games before Sunday's struggles in an offense led by former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who was fired last year in his eighth season in Houston. Flacco was 21 of 50 for 195 yards with two touchdowns in the second half.

PHOTO: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) celebrates his touchdown reception as Houston Texans free safety Kendrick Lewis (21) looks at the replay during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) celebrates his touchdown reception as Houston Texans free safety Kendrick Lewis (21) looks at the replay during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

"They did a good job creating a lot of disruption up front, making me feel uncomfortable, and it just threw things off," Flacco said.

Tight end Owen Daniels said "sputtered is an understatement."

"We really couldn't do anything," he added. "We turned the ball over in our own territory a couple of times and that didn't help."

J.J. Watt, who had eight tackles and a sack, was hit in the nose midway through the fourth quarter and had blood running down his face into his mouth for a few plays before trainers tended to the injury. He has 17 1/2 sacks this season and a franchise-record 54 in his career.

Flacco connected with Torrey Smith for his second score on a 20-yard touchdown pass with six minutes left. But Watt took Flacco down in the backfield on the 2-point try to leave Baltimore behind 25-13.

Houston's defense stifled the Ravens in the first half, allowing just 31 yards to set a franchise best for a half. The previous low was 41 yards gained by San Diego in the second half in 2007.

"They dominated the game really from the beginning to the end," Harbaugh said. "That doesn't mean that our guys didn't fight, compete and try like crazy, but we couldn't get anything going offensively."

Flacco's second interception gave Houston the ball inside the 20 in the second quarter. Foster's TD throw came next.

It was the first touchdown pass by a running back in the NFL this season and the first time a Texans player other than a quarterback had thrown for a score since Jabar Gaffney and James Allen both did it in Houston's inaugural season in 2002.

NOTES: Andre Johnson had six receptions for 65 yards to make him the 10th player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions (1,002). He passed Hines Ward for ninth-most in NFL history. ... The Ravens finished with just 33 yards rushing.


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