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Houston rebounds with huge win over Baltimore

The toast of the AFC South and the NFL as a whole, the Houston Texans received a rude-awakening of sorts last week as the Packers came into the Lone Star State and proceeded to put a beating on the Texans.

Week 7 saw Houston looking to rebound with a potentially tough game against Baltimore. Meanwhile, Tennessee was involved in a wild one with Buffalo, while Indianapolis and Jacksonville found themselves on different sides of close scorelines.

Baltimore Ravens 13, Houston Texans 43

Matt Schaub led the Houston Texans to the team's first ever victory over the Baltimore Ravens, a 43-13 rout.

A humiliating loss at home to Green Bay last week cast a shadow of doubt over a Houston Texans side that had previously looked unstoppable. That shadow was swiftly removed Sunday as the Texas side made short work of the Baltimore Ravens.

Houston (6-1) received outstanding performances from Matt Schaub and Arian Foster, while Andre Johnson appeared in his record-setting 129th game for the franchise.

Schaub threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns while Foster – the leading yards-getter in the league – ran for 98 yards and a pair of scores. Foster was assisted on the ground by Ben Tate, who tallied 47 yards on 10 carries. All in all, the Houston offense proved too much for a Ravens (5-2) defense that was missing Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, while Ed Reed played injured and Terrell Suggs returned from injury but was certainly not at 100 percent.

Meanwhile, Houston’s defense limited the Baltimore running game to just 55 yards, 45 of which came from Ray Rice, who was restricted to just nine carries. Joe Flacco had one of the worst quarterback performances in the modern era, throwing for just 143 yards on 21 of 43 passing, recording one touchdown and two interceptions, while being sacked twice.

The 43-13 win marked the most points scored by the Texans in a game as well as the franchise’s first win (in seven attempts) over Baltimore. It came in front of a record-setting home crowd of 71,708.

Houston easily beat the four-point opening spread and the seven-point gametime spread. The total (set at 47) went over early in the fourth when Ravens kicker Justin Tucker hit a 54-yarder, before Houston tacked on another touchdown.

Houston now takes a week to rest up and recuperate before beginning the second part of its campaign with a home game against the Bills (3-4).

Up Next: Bye

Tennessee Titans 35, Buffalo Bills 34

A wild game in upstate New York culminated with a last minute touchdown and victory for the Tennessee Titans (3-4).

Trailing 34-28, Matt Hasselbeck led the Titans up the field, connecting with Nate Washington on a 15-yard scoring strike to take the lead. Buffalo (3-4) couldn’t respond.

The final drive was set up by Chris Johnson’s 195-yard performance. The running back – suspiciously missing all too often since signing a huge contract a few years back – looked like his old self, scoring two first quarter touchdowns, including a 83-yarder, to set the pace early.

At one point in the opening frame, the two sides scored three touchdowns in a 30 second span. Bettors taking the over were rewarded when the total (set at 45) was eclipsed shortly after halftime.

The much-needed Tennessee win would prove to be the only upset victory in Week 7, a revelation in a season that has seen upsets all but become the norm.

The Titans now gear up for a divisional matchup next week against the Colts (3-3). In a rare occurrence this season, Tennessee opens as favorites (-2½)

Up Next: Vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

Cleveland Browns 13, Indianapolis Colts 17

Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback since 1988 to rush for two touchdowns in one game.

The Colts warmed up for next week’s clash in Nashville with a hard-fought victory over the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Andrew Luck’s numbers on the day were far from eye-opening (186 yards, 16/29 passing, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions) but the rookie quarterback managed to score two rushing touchdowns, which proved enough to propel Indianapolis (3-3) over Cleveland (1-6).

The Browns were limited to just 55 yards on the ground, with Trent Richardson taking a seat for the second half of the game thanks to an injury. The poor offensive output of both teams meant bettors were rewarded for taking the under on the total (44½). Adam Vinatieri’s field goal late in the third quarter – the last score of the game – saw that the Colts beat the spread.

The victory – the Colt’s third of the season – surpasses Indianapolis’ winning output for all of last year.

Up Next: at Tennessee Titans (3-4)

Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Oakland Raiders 26 (OT)

With Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) leaving the game on the Jaguars’ first drive of the game and Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) exiting in the second quarter, it looked grim for Jacksonville early.

Strangely enough, the Jaguars managed to make a game of it, building a 20-6 lead over the erring Raiders shortly after halftime. The northern Florida side couldn’t hang on to the lead though, allowing Oakland to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

A fumble by Cecil Shorts III in overtime set up a 40-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal to give Oakland (2-4) the 26-23 victory. That final score was also enough to reward bettors taking the over on the total (46).

Jacksonville (1-5) now faces a daunting trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers (4-3), a game in which they open as 12½-point underdogs.

Up Next: at Green Bay Packers (4-3)

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