Houston Texans

Texans vs. Ravens: Stud WR Andre Johnson Key to Houston Upset

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  (L-R) T.J. Yates #13 and Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans celebrate after Johnson scored a 40-yard touchdown reception throw by Yates in the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 15, 2012

Andre Johnson can cement himself as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL with a huge game against a very good Baltimore Ravens defense.

In fact, he's the key to a Texans win.

Let's face it Texans fans, you're coming into this game as a heavy underdog. Bovada.com has the Ravens as nine-point favorites, but even that may be a little bit generous.

Bless T.J. Yates' heart for doing what he's done so far in relief of Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, and he may very well be an NFL quarterback when all is said and done.

Going 11-of-20 for 159 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions is not a bad line at all for your first ever playoff game as a rookie, but mind you this was against the Cincinnati Bengals.

No disrespect to the Bengals, but they are a Pop Warner team compared to the Baltimore Ravens defense.

This is a defense that's coming into this game fourth in the league in opponents passing yards, only giving up 196.3 yards per game, and second in the league only giving up 92.6 rushing yards per game.

That clashes directly with the Texans' strength on offense, which is the running game.

What does that mean for the Texans? 

Yates and the passing game becomes extremely important, which means Johnson is going to have to really be a factor.

Unfortunately, injuries have really hampered Johnson's season, but he made his first postseason appearance ever last week and didn't disappoint the home crowd. He snagged five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

If the Texans want to win this game, Johnson is going to have to have a very big game.

Yates is going to have to go to him, and go to him often. Perhaps the Texans can use the passing game to open up room for Arian Foster and the rushing attack.

This is a huge moment for this franchise, which means it's best and most iconic player must step up into that spotlight.

It's time for the rubber to meet the road, and it's time for Johnson to prove that he really is one of the greats.


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