NFL Playoffs 2012: 11 Keys to Texans Victory over Ravens

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NFL Playoffs 2012: 11 Keys to Texans Victory over Ravens
Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Texans need to see some more of this to win Sunday.

This past Saturday, the Houston Texans played, hosted and won their first playoff game in team history when they hosted the Cincinnati Bengals. It marked the first time two rookie quarterbacks met head-to-head in the playoffs. The Texans came away 31-10, and earned their way into a Divisional Round matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, without the bye they lost after going on a three-game skid and losing the No. 1 seed to fall to No. 3.

Expert predictions and popular sentiment were pretty well split before that game, and not without reason. Houston had no playoff experience and was on a three-game losing streak. Cincinnati was on the road, but would be used to having no one cheer for them. People were looking for an upset, and for some reason weren't looking for Tim Tebow.

The same cannot be said for this Sunday's impending matchup between the Ravens and Texans. You'd be hard-pressed to find an expert who actually picked the Texans to win, and not without reason. Still, it's a little odd how few supporters the Texans have around the country when you consider their defense and offense are rated higher than the Ravens'.

Then again, when you consider that the Ravens have not lost at home all season (including their Week 6 tilt against Houston), perhaps it's not so odd at all.

But if the Texans can win, what will have to happen? How can they pull the upset this week?

Here are my 11 keys to the game. Because this slideshow goes to 11.

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