Ravens vs. Texans final score: Dominant defense, running game bolster Baltimore's road victory

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A dominant defensive effort, coupled by an equally impressive rushing performance, propelled the Ravens to a 33-16 win over the Texans on Sunday. Baltimore's defense forced a pair of turnovers while sacking Deshaun Watson four times, while the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens' offense rushed for 230 yards on 37 carries. 

The Ravens took a 20-10 halftime lead into the locker room thanks to touchdowns on both offense and defense. The Ravens, following a turnover on downs by the Texans, added to their lead moments after a Justin Tucker field goal, with Jackson hitting Patrick Ricard from a yard out. Houston quickly responded with their first score, as a 38-yard completion to Brandin Cooks set up Watson's 10-yard touchdown pass to Darren Fells. 

A 26-yard completion from Jackson to Marquise Brown set up Tucker's second field goal. Baltimore then extended its lead to 20-7 after L.J. Fort returned Keke Coutee's fumble 22 yards for a score. The fumble was forced by All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Marcus Peters' interception moments later put Baltimore in position to add to its lead before halftime, but consecutive sacks by the Texans, including J.J. Watt's second sack of the half, forced Jackson and the Ravens to punt. The stop helped set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 44-yard field goal just before halftime. 

Baltimore started the second half by adding to its lead with a 47-yard field goal by Tucker. Houston responded on its next possession with a field goal. While the Texans struggled to find pay dirt, the Ravens had no such issues. That was made clear on Baltimore's ensuing possession, as Mark Ingram on a fourth-and-1, took the direct snap and bolted 30-yards to make it a 30-13 game. 

Here's a closer look at how the Ravens were able to leave Houston with their 14th consecutive regular season win. 

Why the Ravens won 

Baltimore's running game gashed Houston's defense to the tune of a 6.2 yards per carry average. Gus Edwards led the way with 73 yards on 10 carries, while Jackson, Ingram and Dobbins combined to run for 157 yards on 27 carries. The Ravens' defense was equally impressive, sacking Watson four times while recording two turnovers. And while there aren't many things Ravens fans won't like about the win, some may not like the amount of hits Jackson endured on Sunday. Jackson, along with being sacked four times, had a team-high 16 carries. Dobbins, a second-round pick in the draft, had just two carries in Sunday's game. Dobbins did put the finishing touches on Sunday's win with his 44-yard run. 

Why the Texans lost 

Watson, simply put, was not put into many situations to be successful on Sunday, as Houston often asked him to run play-action against a Baltimore defense that had no issues getting into the Texans' backfield. Houston, without Duke Johnson, had little success on the ground, which made things even harder for Watson and his receivers. Defensively, the Texans, along with getting pushed around in the running game, failed to force a turnover. Two bright spots for Houston were Watt, whose two sacks moved him past Warren Sapp for 41st on the all-time list, and Cooks, who caught five passes for a game-high 95 yards. 

Turning point

It was a 13-7 game before Fort's scoop and score gave Baltimore a 20-7 lead. Along with scoring a touchdown, the Ravens' defense allowed just 51 rushing yards while holding Houston to 3-of-9 third down efficiency. 

Play of the game

After a Houston field goal cut the Ravens' lead to 10 points, Ingram's touchdown run essentially put the game out of reach. The Ravens, during the game's final minutes, imposed their will on Houston via their rushing attack, ending the game with 17 straight running plays. 

Quotable 

"Our team, we haven't played our best ball yet. We have a lot of room for improvement, but we find a way to grind out and make things happen. As a defensive player, watching the offense take a nine-minute drive and add to the lead, you can't ask for anything better than that. That's ideal. It's just fun playing with this team." -- Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell, a five-time Pro Bowler who signed with the Ravens this offseason 

What's next 

Baltimore will put their 2-0 record on the line against the defending champion Chiefs on "Monday Night Football." The Chiefs, after beating the Texans in Week 1, needed overtime defeat the Chargers on Sunday. The Texans will now head to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that is 2-0 for the first time since 2017. 

To relive the action in real time, check out our live blog below to see how the Ravens were able to notch their second win of the season. 

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SUN 4:25 P
HOU +7.5, o49.5
HOU 7.5, O/U 49.5

Season Leaders

passing
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L. Jackson 769 YD, 7 TDS, 1 INT
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L. Jackson 769 YD, 7 TDS, 1 INT
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D. Watson 1092 YD, 6 TDS, 3 INTS
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D. Watson 1092 YD, 6 TDS, 3 INTS
rushing
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L. Jackson 39 ATT, 235 YD, 1 TD
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L. Jackson 39 ATT, 235 YD, 1 TD
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D. Johnson 51 ATT, 197 YD, 2 TDS
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D. Johnson 51 ATT, 197 YD, 2 TDS
receiving
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M. Brown 16 REC, 242 YD
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M. Brown 16 REC, 242 YD
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W. Fuller 18 REC, 274 YD, 2 TDS
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W. Fuller 18 REC, 274 YD, 2 TDS
Live updates
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That's going to do it for this one. Ravens putting the finishing touches on a 33-16 win. Ravens' defense played well for a second straight week, while Baltimore rushed for a whopping 230 yards. Thanks for following our coverage of today's game! Be sure to follow CBS Sports.com for updates on the rest of this weekend's games.

September 20, 2020, 11:21 PM

That punt pretty much puts this one on ice. Watson was sacked four times, but he was hit numerous other times. His running game really didn't do much; 51 yards on 17 carries. Conversely, Jackson was part of an offense that has now run for 232 yards following Dobbins' 44-yard carry.

September 20, 2020, 11:16 PM

Texans have the talent to turn this around. They just need to start forcing turnovers on defense, and on offense, they need to continue to try to establish their running game, which will improve when Duke Johnson comes back. And Watson needs to find his "go to" guy, someone he has faith in in big moments. This week it was Cooks, last week it was Fuller.

September 20, 2020, 11:10 PM

Ravens continue to salt this one away. Gus Edwards gashes the right side of the Texans' offense for a 22-yard run. Again, Ravens did not have a ton of success running early, but now, they're nearing 200 rushing yards for the day, with Dobbins not getting a single carry.

September 20, 2020, 11:05 PM

CBS just showed a stat showing that the Texans have the hardest 2-game start to a season since the '68 Dolphins. It doesn't get any easier next week, as Houston will have to take on the 2-0 Steelers next. The Steelers have struggled against the pass the last two weeks, so Watson could have some success.

September 20, 2020, 11:04 PM
@Ravens via Twitter
September 20, 2020, 11:02 PM

Ravens pick up a first down on fourth and inches, as Jackson and the Ravens are content to just kill clock with less than 6 minutes left. Houston, sensing what the Ravens are doing, use their first timeout of the half. Ravens have a 7-minute TOP advantage so far.

September 20, 2020, 11:02 PM

Really nice tackle by Justin Reid on Jackson in the open field, denying the Ravens a first down. Reid was actually blocked on the play before getting an arm on Jackson. Reid, a rookie, is a starter after enjoying a productive college career at Penn State. Reid elevated his draft stock following a impressive performance at the combine.

September 20, 2020, 10:57 PM

Cobb and Cooks have had nice afternoons. I know fans are still (understandably) upset over losing Hopkins, but Texans offense still has weapons. Their O-line issues and Duke Johnson's injury are the two big reasons why they're likely going to fall to 0-2. Their defensive issues don't help, either.

September 20, 2020, 10:49 PM

Texans obviously have to throw now, but going forward, they're going to have to figure out how to have more success on the ground in order to open things up more for Watson. As it currently stands, the Texans in hurry-up, with their depth at WR and with Watson's quick decision making, is their most effective means of transportation.

September 20, 2020, 10:47 PM

And just like that, the Ravens are averaging over five yards per carry. I don't like how much abuse Jackson is taking as a runner, but obviously John Harbuagh believes his quarterback can take the punishment. His 9 carries is three more than any other Raven. Dobbins is still without a carry today.

September 20, 2020, 10:44 PM

A tremendous call/run by Mark Ingram. Takes the direct snap on fourth and a yard and runs 30 yards for a touchdown. Ingram was untouched on the play.

September 20, 2020, 10:42 PM
@HoustonTexans via Twitter
September 20, 2020, 10:35 PM
@Ravens via Twitter
September 20, 2020, 10:34 PM
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