Houston Texans

Garoppolo leads 49ers to 26-16 win over Texans

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Garoppolo leads 49ers to 26-16 win over Texans

HOUSTON -- After years of struggles at the position, the San Francisco 49ers may have finally found their quarterback of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo.

But even after leading the team to its second straight win, 26-16, over the Houston Texans on Sunday, the former backup to Tom Brady wasn't convinced the job is his to keep.

"We'll see what happens this week. That's on (coach) Kyle (Shanahan)," he said when asked about starting next week. "I don't know."

It's pretty safe to say that Garoppolo will be under center for the rest of the season after throwing for a career-high 334 yards and a touchdown as the 49ers (3-10) won their second straight game.

Garoppolo was 20 of 33 in his second start for a team that hasn't had consistent play at quarterback since Colin Kaepernick's great 2013 season. Acquired before the trade deadline from New England, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his debut with the team last week to help the 49ers to a 15-14 win at Chicago.

"You've got to have guys who are fearless, can hang in there and keep their eyes down the field. He does that very, very well," Shanahan said. "But he also has the foot quickness and agility to get out of there and extend some plays."

The game was tied when he found Garrett Celek on a 6-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes left in the third quarter to make it 23-16. Celek had a big play earlier in that drive on a 61-yard reception on third down.

"We knew it was kind of feast or famine against this defense because they're very physical," Shanahan said. "But sometimes, you get your opportunities, and we were fortunate enough to come down with them."

DeAndre Hopkins had 149 yards receiving and two touchdowns, but lost a fumble in the fourth quarter with the Texans down by 7 . San Francisco added 41-yard field goal after that to secure the victory.

T.J. Yates threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns after Tom Savage left with a concussion in the second quarter. Texans (4-9) lost their third straight and sixth in seven games.

Savage was injured when he was driven to the ground on a hit by Elvis Dumervil with about nine minutes left in the second. Replays showed Savage looking dazed after his head hit the ground with both of his arms lifted upward shaking.

He was taken to the medical tent, where he stayed for less than three minutes before returning to the bench and going back in for the next series. He threw two incompletions on that drive, and Houston's team doctor approached him after he returned to the sideline after that possession.

Savage tried repeatedly to enter the game on the next series. But a team official kept grabbing Savage's jersey and finally his arm and pulled him away from the field. He then could be seen arguing with that person and the team's trainer before being escorted to the locker room.

Coach Bill O'Brien said he was evaluated for a concussion after the hit and cleared to return, but that he was evaluated again after he returned because "because of what they saw," without providing details of what that was.

"They try to make the best decision for the player," O'Brien said. "Whatever they see and the testing that they do they try to make the best decision with the player and they weren't satisfied with the results of the second test so they decided to pull him, and that's when he went into the locker room."

Yates, who hadn't appeared in a game since Nov. 16, 2015, was signed last month after Deshaun Watson went out with a knee injury. Houston went up 16-13 when Hopkins grabbed a 29-yard touchdown reception on the Texans' first drive of the second half.

The 49ers took a 10-3 lead when Carlos Hyde ran 2 yards for a touchdown with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Yates connected with Hopkins for a 7-yard touchdown on Houston's next drive, but the kick failed to leave Houston down 10-9.

Robbie Gould added a 35-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to leave San Francisco up 13-9.

INJURIES

Houston offensive tackle Kendall Lamm sustained a concussion in the first quarter. The Texans have had six players sustain concussions in the last two games combined. ... 49ers rookie receiver Victor Bolden injured his ankle in the second quarter and didn't return. ... San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon injured his knee in the fourth quarter.

MEMORIES

Sunday was Shanahan's first visit to NRG Stadium since losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl when he was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons. He said he didn't think about that game, where the Falcons blew a 25-point lead, until he got to the stadium on Sunday.

"We got off the bus and were walking across the field, and that's when I remembered," he said. "I got some feelings of that. I had some real good feelings in that game, but not toward the end. The feelings today were definitely much better at the end."

UP NEXT

49ers: Host the Titans next Sunday.

Texans: Visit Jaguars next Sunday.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Suggs, Ravens get defensive in 23-16 win over Texans

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Suggs, Ravens get defensive in 23-16 win over Texans

BALTIMORE -- Take the ball away from the other guys, hold onto it yourself and make sure nothing happens to Justin Tucker.

That, apparently, is the formula the Baltimore Ravens intend to use to reach the playoffs.

Terrell Suggs led an aggressive defense that kept Houston out of the end zone for the final 51 minutes, and the Ravens forced two turnovers in the final five minutes to secure a 23-16 victory on Monday night.

"If the game's on the line, you've got to be comfortable when your defense is out there," Suggs said. "It feels good."

After Suggs stripped the ball from quarterback Tom Savage and Baltimore recovered, Tucker kicked his third field goal with 2:53 remaining for a seven-point cushion.

Anthony Levine then intercepted a Savage pass to clinch it.

The Ravens picked off two passes to increase their NFL-leading total to 18, and their three takeaways upped their league-best total to 26.

Asked to assess Savage's performance, Houston coach Bill O'Brien said: "Can't turn it over. I thought he did some good things, but he turned it over too many times."

Baltimore, in turn, did not commit a turnover.

Suggs had two sacks, Alex Collins ran for 60 yards and a touchdown, and punter Sam Koch threw perhaps Baltimore's most significant pass of the game.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh called for a fake punt, converted a fourth down with a rarely used pitchout and had quarterback Joe Flacco line up at wide receiver on a play in which Collins took a direct snap.

"You always have them in the game plan," Flacco said. "It's just the flow of the game."

All of this added spice to a stagnant offense that protected the ball and did just enough to win.

Flacco went 20 for 32 for 141 yards.

The Ravens (6-5) have won consecutive games for the first time since they opened the season 2-0. They are now above .500 for the first time since Oct. 8 and tied with Buffalo for the final AFC wild-card spot.

Houston (4-7) has lost four of five.

Savage, who has started the last four games in place of injured DeShaun Watson, completed 22 of 37 passes for 252 yards. But he gave the ball away three times, and that was the difference.

"You're not going to win any games when you turn it over and you don't get any turnovers," O'Brien said.

Aided by three penalties against Baltimore, the Texans traveled the length of the field and went up 7-0 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller.

That would be Houston's last sniff of the end zone.

"It's hard to run the ball on these guys," O'Brien said. "You try to stay balanced and we couldn't really run it."

Early in the second quarter, after a third-down incompletion, the Ravens appeared poised to punt for the fourth time in four series. But Koch lofted a pass to Chris Moore, a play that went for 22 yards to the Houston 19. That set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Javorius Allen, who reached the end zone with a healthy push from several of his teammates.

An interception by Tony Jefferson was followed by a fourth-and-1 gamble in which Collins took a quick pitch and ran for 29 yards to the Houston 8. Collins covered the final 8 yards on the following play for a 14-7 lead.

The teams traded field goals in the final two minutes before halftime.

GET THE BALL

Suggs joked about how former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis loved pouncing on loose balls.

"Every time I'm ready to get the ball, I can hear Ray Lewis say, `Sizzle, get the ball. I want the ball,'" Suggs said. "Ray Lewis, he probably made a tackle tonight. He's always gotten credit."

PRIMED TO WIN

Baltimore has won 10 straight games in prime time and is 12-1 under the lights since Harbaugh took over in 2008.

INJURIES

Texans: LB Brennan Scarlett (foot) and OT Chris Clark (ankle) left in the second quarter. LB Ben Heeney (hamstring) left in the third quarter.

Ravens: LB C.J. Mosley was placed in the concussion protocol in the third quarter and quickly cleared.

UP NEXT

Texans: At Tennessee on Sunday.

Ravens: Host Detroit on Sunday.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Shorthanded Texans crushed by Rams, 33-7

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Shorthanded Texans crushed by Rams, 33-7

LOS ANGELES -- Robert Woods caught two of Jared Goff's three touchdown passes during a dominant third quarter, and the surging Los Angeles Rams returned after a month away from home for their fourth straight victory, 33-7 over the depleted Houston Texans on Sunday.

After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL's highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards.

Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds apart late in the third quarter. The Rams defense shut out Houston in the second half and won at the Coliseum for just the third time in 11 games since returning to Los Angeles last season.

Woods finished with eight catches for 171 yards, making the longest catch of his NFL career before following it up with a 12-yard TD .

Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of five.

Tom Savage passed for 221 yards with two interceptions for Houston, which lost its second straight since losing rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season with a knee injury.

NFL scoring leader Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals for the Rams, who hadn't played in LA since early October thanks to two East Coast road trips, a bye and a "home" game in London.

Rookie coach Sean McVay's club still kept its momentum going with a 205-yard third quarter on the way to scoring at least 27 points for the eighth time in nine games. The Rams are off to their best start since 2001, when they went 8-1 in St. Louis.

Aaron Donald, the Rams' powerhouse defensive lineman, forced a fumble on Houston's opening possession while sacking Savage, his college teammate at Pitt. But the Rams couldn't get in the end zone early, and they trailed for the first time since Oct. 15 when the Texans made a 75-yard drive in the second quarter capped by Ellington's untouched catch-and-run TD.

Houston had the chance for more points late in the first half, but Mark Barron made an interception at the Los Angeles 10.

INJURIES

Texans: WR Will Fuller injured his ribs while receiving a huge hit from Rams S Lamarcus Joyner in the first half. He didn't return.

Rams: Watkins came up limping in the first half and missed some playing time before returning in the second half. ... Joyner injured his own hip in the first half, but returned for the second half. .. LG Rodger Saffold hurt his ankle in the second half. He is a key part of the Rams' revitalized offensive line.

BIG KICKS

Zuerlein surpassed his previous career high when he made his 27th field goal of the season shortly before halftime, and he added another in the second half. The sure-footed veteran has missed just one field goal all season.

UP NEXT

Texans: The NFC West portion of the schedule continues with a visit next Sunday from the Arizona Cardinals, who will be on extra rest after playing Thursday.

Rams: A trip to Minnesota for an early game next Sunday against former QB Case Keenum and the Vikings.