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NFL Game Summary - Houston at Baltimore



(Sunday, January 15th)

Final Score: Baltimore 20, Houston 13

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Turnovers can be the ultimate difference maker.

The Baltimore Ravens scored 17 points off four Houston giveaways and emerged with a 20-13 victory over the Texans in an AFC divisional playoff game Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens are headed to the AFC championship game for the third time in franchise history and first since the 2008 season. They will travel to Foxboro next Sunday to meet the Patriots, who dismantled Denver on Saturday night in a 45-10 rout.

"This football team won the game no matter what. It wasn't perfect by any stretch, but they found a way to win," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

Joe Flacco threw two first-quarter touchdown passes for Baltimore, which notched its second postseason home win. The AFC North champs' only previous playoff victory at home was a 21-3 wild-card win over Denver on December 31, 2000, the first step on the way to winning Super Bowl XXXV.

Arian Foster had 132 yards on 27 carries for the Texans, who added another item to their list of playoff firsts: a loss.

Rookie Houston quarterback T.J. Yates was picked off three times -- twice by Lardarius Webb, whose second interception led to a 44-yard field goal by Baltimore's Billy Cundiff with 2:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Yates started the ensuing drive with completions of 18 and 16 yards to standout wide receiver Andre Johnson, moving the ball to the Baltimore 38. Yates went back to Johnson following the two-minute warning, but Ed Reed came down with his eighth career playoff interception just outside the end zone.

The Ravens were forced to punt, giving Houston one last chance with 45 seconds to play. Baltimore prevailed when Yates' deep pass on fourth down from the Baltimore 43 fell incomplete.

"If we didn't turn it over, it's a different game. We didn't protect the ball," said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak.

Yates echoed his coach's sentiments. "We had a lot of chances but we hurt ourselves with turnovers. Our defense did a great job all game long. We have to protect the ball."

Houston's Neil Rackers kicked a 40-yard field after Danieal Manning returned the game's opening kickoff 60 yards. But the Texans' special teams unit committed a costly mistake after forcing the Ravens to go three-and-out on their first offensive drive.

Return man Jacoby Jones inexplicably attempted to field a punt with a defender on top of him after the ball had bounced off the turf. Jimmy Smith recovered the fumble, setting Baltimore up at the Houston two-yard line.

Flacco quickly capitalized on the turnover with a touchdown toss to tight end Kris Wilson, who didn't have a reception during the regular season.

The Ravens' next drive ended with Cundiff converting a 48-yard field goal.

After both teams went three-and-out, Webb picked off Yates' pass to Johnson on first down at the Houston 34. Five plays later, Flacco hooked up with Anquan Boldin on a 10-yard touchdown, extending Baltimore's lead to 17-3 with 1:08 remaining in a first quarter. Boldin missed the final two games of the regular season following knee surgery.

The Texans battled back in the second quarter behind the legs of Foster, who ran for more yards in the first half (95) than Baltimore had ever allowed in single playoff game (Eddie George had 91 for Tennessee in 2000).

Foster was held to 49 yards on 15 attempts in a Week 6 loss at Baltimore.

Houston's ensuing drive stalled inside the red zone and Rackers connected on a 33-yard field goal.

After the Ravens went three-and-out, Foster began an 86-yard drive by scampering up the left sideline for 28 yards. Houston eventually moved the ball to the Baltimore 17, where Foster made a one-handed catch on a screen and ran for 12 yards on third-and-nine. Three plays later, Foster bulled his way over the goal line from a yard out to trim the Texans' deficit to 17-13 with 4:48 to play.

A scoreless third quarter featured Baltimore running back Ray Rice being stuffed at the Houston one-yard line on fourth down after a 50-yard field goal bid by Rackers came up short.

Game Notes

The Ravens are the only NFL team to make the playoffs in each of the past four seasons...Baltimore, Green Bay and New Orleans were the only teams to go undefeated at home in 2011...The Ravens have won all six meetings with the Texans...Flacco is the only starting quarterback in NFL history to make the playoffs in each of his first four seasons...The Ravens last hosted a playoff game against Indianapolis in the divisional round after the 2006 season...Flacco completed 14-of-27 passes for 176 yards, while Rice was limited to 60 yards on 21 carries...Yates finished with 184 yards on 17- of-35 passing...Houston recorded five sacks.

01/15 17:46:10 ET

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Standings

 2013 American Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-New England 12 4 0 .750 444 338 8-0 4-4 4-2 9-3
NY Jets 8 8 0 .500 290 387 6-2 2-6 3-3 5-7
Miami 8 8 0 .500 317 335 4-4 4-4 2-4 7-5
Buffalo 6 10 0 .375 339 388 4-4 2-6 3-3 5-7
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Cincinnati 11 5 0 .688 430 305 8-0 3-5 3-3 8-4
Pittsburgh 8 8 0 .500 379 370 5-3 3-5 4-2 6-6
Baltimore 8 8 0 .500 320 352 6-2 2-6 3-3 6-6
Cleveland 4 12 0 .250 308 406 3-5 1-7 2-4 3-9
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Indianapolis 11 5 0 .688 391 336 6-2 5-3 6-0 9-3
Tennessee 7 9 0 .438 362 381 3-5 4-4 2-4 6-6
Jacksonville 4 12 0 .250 247 449 1-7 3-5 3-3 4-8
Houston 2 14 0 .125 276 428 1-7 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Denver 13 3 0 .813 606 399 7-1 6-2 5-1 9-3
x-Kansas City 11 5 0 .688 430 305 5-3 6-2 2-4 7-5
x-San Diego 9 7 0 .563 396 348 5-3 4-4 4-2 6-6
Oakland 4 12 0 .250 322 453 3-5 1-7 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
 2013 National Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Philadelphia 10 6 0 .625 442 382 4-4 6-2 4-2 9-3
Dallas 8 8 0 .500 439 432 5-3 3-5 5-1 7-5
NY Giants 7 9 0 .438 294 383 4-4 3-5 3-3 6-6
Washington 3 13 0 .188 334 478 2-6 1-7 0-6 1-11
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Green Bay 8 7 1 .531 417 428 4-3-1 4-4 3-2-1 6-5-1
Chicago 8 8 0 .500 445 478 5-3 3-5 2-4 4-8
Detroit 7 9 0 .438 395 376 4-4 3-5 4-2 6-6
Minnesota 5 10 1 .344 391 480 5-3 0-7-1 2-3-1 4-7-1
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Carolina 12 4 0 .750 366 241 7-1 5-3 5-1 9-3
x-New Orleans 11 5 0 .688 414 304 8-0 3-5 5-1 9-3
Atlanta 4 12 0 .250 353 443 3-5 1-7 1-5 3-9
Tampa Bay 4 12 0 .250 288 389 3-5 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Seattle 13 3 0 .813 417 231 7-1 6-2 4-2 10-2
x-San Francisco 12 4 0 .750 406 272 6-2 6-2 5-1 9-3
Arizona 10 6 0 .625 379 324 6-2 4-4 2-4 6-6
St. Louis 7 9 0 .438 348 364 5-3 2-6 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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