Coming off an impressive home win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card Round, the Houston Texans get a much stiffer test this week against the seasoned Ravens in Baltimore.
Houston's first playoff appearance began with a big win, but it will be hard pressed to collect No. 2 against the Ravens.
For an upset to happen, basically every Texan would have to be playing lights-out football. More specifically, though, rookie quarterback TJ Yates would need to have the game of his life. If Yates can be effective enough in the passing game to loosen up the defense and get Arian Foster going on the ground, an upset would be very possible.
Andre Johnson will also need to be a factor, though, which means he will have to shake off the rust (he dropped two passes last week).
Defensively, the Texans will have to keep doing what they have been doing. Baltimore is balanced on offense, but they rarely get explosive plays and the Texans could conceivably shut them down.
The Ravens will need a solid game from Joe Flacco as well as a heavy dose of Ray Rice, and they'll want to try and test Houston's defense deep with Torrey Smith at times to keep them honest.
On defense, the Ravens will lean on their veterans to stop Houston in their tracks. Ed Reed will be watching for an errant TJ Yates pass like a hawk, and Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata will try to stifle Arian Foster. Terrell Suggs will try to get to Yates off the edge.
This Baltimore team is beatable, but at the same time, they've looked so good against quality opponents (including Houston) this year that it's hard to pick against them.
Ravens 17, Texans 16