Lamar Jackson passed for four touchdowns and produced 308 total yards as the Baltimore Ravens took the starch out of their ballyhooed matchup with the Houston Texans, rolling to a 41-7 home victory on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Following a ragged first quarter in which the Ravens (8-2) failed to score on their opening drive for just the second time this season, Jackson caught fire, engineering two long second-quarter scoring drives that provided Baltimore a 14-0 halftime lead en route to its sixth consecutive win.
Jackson capped a 10-play, 90-yard march with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 9:24 remaining in the first half to break the seal on a scoreless game. On their ensuing possession, the Ravens covered 70 yards in seven plays, with Jackson finding Mark Andrews for an 18-yard scoring strike at the 2:14 mark of the half.
The Texans (6-4) had previously squandered three trips into Baltimore territory in the first quarter before mounting a desperate march late in the first half, a foray that included a fourth-down conversion at the Houston 47. Deshaun Watson hit Kenny Stills for a 9-yard gain to keep the chains moving, but Ka'imi Fairbairn pushed his 43-yard field-goal attempt wide right just prior to the half, a foreboding development considering the Ravens were set to receive the ball first to open the third quarter.
Baltimore capitalized by marching 78 yards over six plays, with Jackson tossing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Mark Ingram, the first of his two scoring grabs, that pushed the lead to 21-0.
The hyped showdown between Jackson and Watson, two leading Most Valuable Player candidates, never materialized. Watson fumbled on the Texans' opening possession after a sack by Ravens linebacker Matt Judon. Watson later tossed an unsightly interception in the third quarter that yielded the second Justin Turner field goal of that period and a 27-0 Baltimore lead.
Watson passed for 169 yards and was sacked six times. Carlos Hyde scampered 41 yards for a score with 7:10 remaining in the game to help Houston avoid the shutout.
The Ravens' top-ranked rushing offense produced 263 yards and 7.3 yards per attempt.
--Field Level Media