Dec 21, 2014 4:46 PM
Foster, defense lead Texans over Ravens 25-13
The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) A week ago, Case Keenum was perched in a tree with a bow in his hands looking for a white-tailed deer to shoot.
On Sunday he was starting in the NFL again, leading the Houston Texans to a 25-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Running back Arian Foster threw for a touchdown, Randy Bullock made a franchise-record six field goals and Houston's defense dominated.
With three quarterbacks hurt, the Texans looked to Keenum, who got his first win in nine NFL starts. Keenum went 0-8 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.
"I'm not the best with words, and I couldn't put it into words," Keenum said. "Arian said he was going to punch me if I cried. When you don't win, it makes winning very, very sweet."
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.
"They did a good job creating a lot of disruption up front, making me feel uncomfortable, and it just threw things off," Flacco said.
Houston (8-7) remains in the hunt a year after going 2-14 but needs several teams to lose next week.
"Nothing is guaranteed, but at least our last game means something, and that's a big thing for this organization," coach Bill O'Brien said.
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.
"I feel like I have a good arm," Foster said. "So I've been lobbying since I've been in the NFL. They finally called it."
Keenum threw for 185 yards with an interception in his first start since last Dec. 15.
"Kid played great," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Keenum came in, and it's pretty amazing what he did as far as handling the offense."
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.
"Joe was under duress all day," Harbaugh said.
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.
He said after the game that it felt as though he got hit in the face with a sledgehammer.
"I got a couple of stitches," he said. "I'm not 100 percent sure how it happened."
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.
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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