Texans get return engagement with Ravens

Inside the matchup:

Inside slant:

This is a rematch of a game the Ravens won at home earlier this season after a pretty good struggle for three quarters. Of course, that was about two quarterbacks ago for Houston, which still had Matt Schaub under center at the time. The Texans were also without Andre Johnson then. Johnson is back, but wasn't quite himself last week. The Ravens are hoping the injury woes that dogged Ray Lewis and Ed Reed late in the season have subsided after they had a bye week to rest.

Quarterback Joe Flacco shines in Baltimore, where he'll be leading the Ravens in their first home playoff game since the 2006 season. Houston quarterback T.J. Yates enjoyed a cocoon-like environment last week, but he'll be in a totally different environment, especially with an offensive line that is geared more toward pushing forward and getting to the second level than it is toward pass protection. Baltimore, always stout against the run, will do whatever it takes to stifle the rushing attack of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Will Yates be able to find Johnson enough to keep the Ravens honest?

Baltimore could throw Ricky Williams in the mix a little more than usual. With receiver Anquan Boldin playing in his first game after having knee surgery, keeping their young tight ends active will be imperative for the Ravens. Expect them to set up deep attempts to Torrey Smith off of play action with heavy doses of their run game. The Ravens love making explosive passing plays off of turnovers.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.