HOUSTON (AP) — Josh Wilson saw Matt Schaub’s pass heading straight for him in overtime and couldn’t believe what was happening.
He overcame his disbelief in time to intercept the throw and dash 12 yards for a touchdown to lift the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-28 overtime win over the Houston Texans on Monday night.
“I was just saying, ‘Catch the ball, catch the ball, catch the ball,’ and game over,” he said.
The Texans trailed 28-13 entering the fourth quarter before Jacoby Jones capped a 99-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception with 6 minutes remaining.
The Ravens (9-4) had to punt after their drive stalled at the Houston 44 following an incomplete pass on third-and-2 with about 3 minutes left to give the Texans the ball.
Johnson managed to keep his toes inbounds on a 5-yard touchdown reception that made it 28-26 and Jones grabbed Houston’s first 2-point conversion of the year to tie it with 21 seconds remaining.
“Our guys overcame a tough situation and they found a way to win,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “In December that’s really what matters.”
Harbaugh raved about Wilson, who was born in Houston and whose late father, Tim Wilson, played for the Oilers.
“I mean that’s just the hero of the game,” he said. “Made a play in a critical situation, on the road, in overtime, in December, in the playoff hunt.”
The Ravens were able to avoid another tough loss a week after a 13-10 defeat by the Steelers that came after Troy Polamalu’s sack and forced fumble led to the winning touchdown by Ben Roethlisberger.
“That’s what happened last week where one play changes everything, and this week, we made that play, and that’s what good defenses do,” Ray Lewis said.
Baltimore lost fourth-quarter leads in each of its four losses and had to punt after its only offensive series of overtime. Houston started from its 12, and Schaub was trying to connect with Jones on second down when Wilson picked it off and ran into the end zone.
Houston (5-8) has lost six of its last seven. Houston coach Gary Kubiak struggled with his message to the team after this one.
“I wish I had the perfect words,” Kubiak said. “I always tell people the truth. The truth is, I didn’t know what to tell them.”
Schaub was 31 of 62 for 393 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I didn’t make a play,” Schaub said. “As a quarterback at this level, you have the opportunity to take your team down and win the game, you’ve got to do it. I didn’t do it.”
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was 22 of 33 for 235 yards and two touchdowns, both in the first half. The Ravens seemed to have the game well in hand when rookie David Reed returned the second-half kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, a franchise record.
Houston mounted two time-consuming drives in the third quarter, but only came away with field goals. Yet the Texans’ defense, ranked among the league’s worst in every category, held the Ravens to four first downs in the second half and kept Houston’s comeback hopes flickering.
The Texans’ offense finally came alive after a listless first half. Schaub went 24 for 41 in the last two quarters after going 7 for 21 in the first half.
Derrick Mason had two first-half touchdowns for the Ravens. On his second score, he sidestepped Jason Allen then came out of his shoe on a 26-yard reception just under 2 minutes before halftime. That score, that made it 21-0, was set up when Chris Carr picked off a deflected pass from Schaub.
Johnson finally got Houston’s offense going when he grabbed a 46-yard pass from Schaub for a touchdown less than a minute before halftime to get Houston to 21-7.
Mason made an acrobatic 9-yard catch in the back of the end zone about 5½ minutes before halftime to make it 14-0.
Willis McGahee scored on a 1-yard run to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Ravens had a second-and-8 from the 11-yard line before Houston’s Brian Cushing was called for pass interference, his second penalty of the drive, giving Baltimore a first down at the 1.
McGahee was stopped once before tumbling into the end zone for the score with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)