Game Time: Sunday at 1:00 EST
Weather: High of 37 with a slight chance of precipitation
Spread: Ravens -9
The Texans put on a strong showing last week against the Bengals, dismantling the young team in the franchise’s first ever showing in the playoffs. Gates looked decent, Arian Foster had his way and the defense held true after they ended the season hurt and losing. However, they face a popular AFC favorite in the Ravens.
The Ravens have failed to show up against lesser teams on the road this year, but the Texans are an upper-tier team and the Ravens get them at home. I’m simply putting two and two together here.
Ravens – 31, Texans – 18
Houston proved to me once again that their defense is much better than me and almost everyone else seems to think. Arian Foster is an absolute stud, and for all intents and purposes, is considerably more explosive than his counterpart, Ray Rice. With Andre Johnson back and Brian Cushing crushing the run, I think that Houston has a much better chance than I would have predicted three weeks ago.
But, I’m still going to stay with my original AFC pick, the Ravens. John Harbaugh and his crew have been so close before, that I think they now understand what it takes to win in the later rounds of the playoffs.
Ravens – 26, Texans – 24
The Texans came alive against the Bengals. The defense stepped up and the running game was excellent. Where was that the last three games? It doesn’t matter. They are here now, and still fighting. Unfortunately, they have to go away from home and visit the rested Ravens.
With a defense that will not allow their running game to thrive, and will put a hurting on rookie T.J. Yates, I just don’t have a good feeling for the Texans in this game. Their only hope is to slow down Ray Rice and the Ravens offense. I don’t see them doing that for the whole game.
Ravens – 28, Texans – 13