The Houston Texans won their first ever playoff game last week, following the lead of Arian Foster while T.J. Yates managed the game effectively. Playing the Bengals at home is far different from playing the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, however.
In today’s first game, Houston will attempt to reach the AFC Championship Game against New England…but they’ll have to beat Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, and the mighty Ravens in their home stadium where the defense typically balls so hard.
Here is all the basic info you need to know, what MSF’s writers have said about the game this week, and a poll so you can take your pick.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
- Texans-Ravens Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, January 15th at 1:00 ET on CBS
- Texans-Ravens Announcers: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf
- Texans-Ravens Point Spread: Ravens -9
- Texans-Ravens Over-Under: 35.5
Steve’s Texans-Ravens Prediction
Click to view Steve’s complete Texans-Ravens Preview, posted earlier this morning.
If the Ravens win this game, it will be won by their defense. They have the third ranked defense in the NFL, right behind the Texans who are second. Their main focus will be to limit the production of Arian Foster. They held him to 49 yards on 15 carries last game, but that was with Schaub at quarterback. Now that Yates is back there, the Texans will want to run the ball even more.
Pressuring Yates is the second key for the Ravens’ defense. He is inexperienced, even though he looked very composed last week. The difference is that this game will be in Baltimore, where the Ravens are 8-0 this season. They may have trouble if they have to go on the road next week, if they win, but it is tough to doubt them at home.
- Ravens-Texans Prediction: Ravens 24 | Texans 23
Jerod’s Texans-Ravens Spread Pick
I am tempted to pick the Texans, because they run the ball so well and have a solid defense, but I just can’t do it.
T.J. Yates was fine managing the game against Cincinnati, but facing the Ravens’ defense in Baltimore is a whole different ballgame. The Ravens are rested, and while their defense isn’t what it once was, they can still get after the QB when motivated, at home, in a big game. Just ask San Francisco, which dealt with it on Thanksgiving night.
I think that’s the Ravens’ D we see on Sunday, and it won’t bode well for Yates. Offensively, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice will do enough to make this a relatively smooth victory.
- Texans-Ravens free pick: Ravens -9
Who do you think will win?
Who do you think will win today's Divisional Round playoff game between the Texans and Ravens? Total Voters: 45
Who do you think will win today's Divisional Round playoff game between the Texans and Ravens?
Total Voters: 45
And don’t be shy. Defend your pick below in the comment section.