BALTIMORE — For the first time in five years, the Ravens host a playoff game in Baltimore as they welcome the AFC South champion Houston Texans to M&T Bank Stadium for a divisional round playoff this afternoon.
Of course, the Ravens have the edge in experience as they make their fourth straight playoff appearance while Houston played its first ever postseason game last week in knocking off the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore hopes for a similar result to its Week 6 win over the Texans in Baltimore, a 29-14 final that improved the Ravens’ mark to 5-0 against Houston.
The Texans will try to beat the Ravens in Baltimore for the first time this season after Baltimore went a perfect 8-0 at their home stadium. The Ravens haven’t lost a home game since Dec. 5, 2010 when Pittsburgh beat them in a nationally-televised Sunday night game.
Today marks the 16th playoff game the Ravens have played in the 16-year history of the franchise. They are 1-2 at home and have not won a postseason game in Baltimore since Dec. 31, 2000, the Ravens’ first playoff game that began their run to Super Bowl XXXV.
The Ravens will wear their purple jerseys and black pants this afternoon while Houston dons its white jerseys and blue pants. Baltimore will introduce its seven Pro Bowl players with veteran linebacker Ray Lewis being announced last, of course. With the futures of Lewis and safety Ed Reed uncertain, it’s possible today marks the last time the two run out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium.
Ravens fans certainly hope not.
Linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps) and Jameel McClain are both active and will play after being questionable for this game.
Surprisingly, cornerback Chris Carr is inactive despite not being on the injury report this week. While there’s always the possibility that a lingering back issue could have flared up over the weekend, it’s pretty clear the former starting cornerback has fallen dramatically on the depth chart. Rookie Jimmy Smith will come on the field in the nickel package and Danny Gorrer is available as the fourth cornerback.
Here are today’s inactives:
WR Tandon Doss
CB Chykie Brown
CB Chris Carr
RB Anthony Allen
LB Josh Bynes
OL Justin Boren
LB Sergio Kindle
QB Jeff Garcia
CB Brandon Harris
S Troy Nolan
G Thomas Austin
T Andrew Gardner
TE Garrett Graham
WR Jeff Maehl