The Ravens host the Texans in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Ravens are favored to win but the Texans are a very good team. They beat the Bengals in the opening round easily and the Ravens had trouble with the Bengals this year. The Ravens did beat the Texans when they came to Baltimore earlier in the year, but Schaub was quarterback and Andre Johnson was out. Arian Foster was held to under 50 yards rushing.
Arian Foster vowed that it would not happen again but Ray Lewis and company are going to try and do it again. Foster is the key to the Texans offense, if he runs then they are good but if not then they are bad. The Texans are led by rookie quarterback T.J Yates. He has played well for a rookie, but the Ravens want the rookie side of him to come out. They are going to disguise blitzes and coverage’s to try and confuse him.
Ed Reed usually does well against rookies because they stare down receivers and do other things that he sees. However, this year he has not been that same player but I think this is the game that he gets one or two interceptions. He also has to worry about Andre Johnson getting over the top because Johnson is a great receiver. Reed will be the over the top help, which means he can’t bite on the pump fakes.
The Ravens offense has a much better passing attack this year than in years past. Joe Flacco had a great year, no matter what his critics said. Flacco is a lot better than people give him credit for; he has led the team to four straight playoff appearances in his first four years. That hasn’t happened since Otto Graham did it.
The Ravens rely heavily on Ray Rice. He is the centerpiece of the offense whether it is running or receiving out of the backfield. He has to have a good game if the Ravens want to win, and I think he will have a big game. I think he will have 100 plus yards rushing and 50 plus yards receiving and a touchdown. He is a play maker and the Ravens need that this week.
The Ravens also rely on Torrey Smith, a rookie out of Maryland. He is a deep ball threat that makes cornerbacks open their hips very fast and that allows him to run different routes effectively. Anquan Boldin is coming back from surgery on his knee and he will have to be big in this playoff game. He is a very good receiver and he will draw a lot of attention which will open up other players.
The Ravens are going to win this game with solid defense and good offense. I think the Texans will make a lot of mistakes, especially T.J Yates. The Ravens will get to him early and throughout the game.
Prediction: 30-13 Ravens