By Todd Karpovich, The Sports Xchange – UPI
BALTIMORE — The Ravens executed a fake punt that led to a Javorius “Buck” Allen touchdown, and Alex Collins ran for another score in Baltimore’s 23-16 victory over the Houston Texans on Monday night.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs also came up with huge play, a strip-sack of Texans quarterback Tom Savage late in the fourth quarter. The fumble was recovered by Baltimore defensive tackle Willie Henry.
The Ravens (6-5) have consecutive wins for the first time since the opening two weeks of the season, and they retook the sixth and final AFC playoff spot.
Baltimore overcame a huge performance by Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught seven passes for 125 yards.
Baltimore is 12-1 in night games at home since coach John Harbaugh took over the team in 2008. The Ravens have also won 10 consecutive prime-time matchups at M&T Bank Stadium, the longest streak in the NFL.
Houston (4-7) pulled to within 20-16 on a 37-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn with 8:36 remaining in the game. The Texans were driving again on their next possession, but Suggs’ strip-sack led to a 49-yard field goal by Justin Tucker that gave Baltimore the 23-16 margin.
Ravens safety Anthony Levine sealed the win with the first interception of his career with just over two minutes left.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco completed 20 of 32 passes for 141 yards and had a key 25-yard run on the game’s final possession.
The Ravens had three takeaways, giving them an NFL-leading 26.
Savage, filling for the injured Deshaun Watson, was 22 of 37 for 252 yards with two interceptions.
The Ravens’ defense had three penalties for 39 yards on the Texans’ opening drive. That helped set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller.
Baltimore got a spark when Sam Koch threw a 22-yard pass to Chris Moore on a fake punt early in the second quarter. Two plays later, Allen tied the game on a 10-yard run.
An interception by safety Tony Jefferson and a 29-yard run by Collins on a fourth-and-1 set up the Ravens’ next score. Collins capped the drive with an 8-yard run, and Baltimore had its first lead, 14-7, with 6:44 left in the half.
Fairbairn and Tucker traded field goals in the final two minutes, and the Ravens led 17-10 at the break.
NOTES: Baltimore got a boost when LT Ronnie Stanley was active after missing the previous game with a concussion. Stanley had to leave late in the first quarter with a right leg injury but was able to return. … Texans WR Will Fuller (ribs) missed his second consecutive game. He has 17 catches for 326 yards with seven touchdowns. … Ravens WR Breshad Perriman was active after he was a healthy scratch the previous game. Perriman was the team’s first-round pick in 2015 but has been mostly inconsistent. … Baltimore’s Michael Campanaro, who leads the league in punt return average, was inactive after not appearing on the injury report last week.