Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Houston Texans have been on the verge of breaking through to the playoffs for years, and they've finally done it, but will they be able to keep their franchise's best season going against the Baltimore Ravens?
Had this game taken place when Matt Schaub was healthy, the Texans would get the nod here without a doubt. Even if these game had taken place in T.J. Yates' first or second start, I would have given the Texans a slight edge over Baltimore.
However, Houston's offense had fallen quite a ways in their final three games of the regular season. Even though they were effective against the Cincinnati Bengals, I still have major questions about how well Yates will run the offense on the road.
So, mostly by default, the Ravens have the advantage on offense. Expect to see Ray Rice used early and often in this matchup. Whoever has the better game between Rice and Arian Foster could be the difference in this game.
Even though the Texans' defense has been much improved this year, they still aren't in the same class defensively as Baltimore. And in all reality, it isn't even close.
Baltimore is going to bring consistent pressure against the rookie Yates as they attempt to completely throw his game off. They'll likely be pretty successful at it, too.
Final Score: Baltimore 20, Houston 10
I just can't see any rookie quarterback being successful against the Ravens' defense, and with Yates' questionable play recently, I think he struggles big time. Look for Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed to have huge games.