In a game all Pats fans will surely be watching, the Houston Texans take on the Baltimore Ravens in the early playoff game on Sunday; the winner will travel to Foxboro to play the Patriots a week from today.

 

Both teams have excellent running games, and both teams have excellent rushing defenses so that’s really a wash. Both defenses overall are very good.

Neither team has an exceptional quarterback, but T.J. Yates is more questionable than Joe Falco; on the other hand Houston has better receivers and a better tight end.

Neither team is built to mount a comeback if they fall too far behind. They’re equally adept at forcing turnovers; Houston is slightly better at holding on to the ball but there’s not enough of a difference to make that a significant factor.

 

To me the only differentiating factors that stand out are that the Ravens have playoff experience, they’ve had an extra week to prepare, and they are playing at home – where they are undefeated this season. I think the Ravens will win, with a couple of turnovers being key.

 

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 24, Houston Texans 13


3 Units on the Ravens -7½
1 Unit on over 35½

 

#3 Houston Texans (11-6) at #2 Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
1:00 ET on CBS
Television Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Radio Announcers: Ian Eagle, Trent Green, Tony Boselli

Opening Line: Baltimore favored by 7½
Current Line: Baltimore favored by 7½ to 8
Over/Under: Opened at 35½, now at 37 to 37½

 

By The Numbers:

Ravens Offense
23.6 points per game – 12th
338.7 yards per game – 15th
213.9 passing yards per game – 19th
124.8 rushing yards per game – 10th
24 turnovers – 16th

6.7 yards per pass attempt – 22nd
57.7% pass completion – 22nd
21 passing touchdowns – 13th
12 interceptions thrown – 5th
81.7 quarterback rating – 15th
33 sacks allowed – 12th
206 yards lost on sacks – 13th

4.3 rushing yards per carry – 12th
15 rushing touchdowns – 10th
4 fumbles lost – 19th

Texans Defense
17.4 points per game – 4th
285.7 yards per game – 2nd
189.7 passing yards per game – 3rd
96.0 rushing yards per game – 4th
27 turnovers – 12th

6.2 yards per pass attempt – 2nd
51.9% pass completion – 1st
18 passing touchdowns – 6th
17 interceptions caught – 13th
69.0 quarterback rating – 2nd
44 sacks – 6th
287 yards lost on sacks – 6th

4.1 rushing yards per carry – 11th
8 rushing touchdowns – 3rd
5 fumbles recovered – 2nd

Texans Offense
23.8 points per game – 8th
372.1 yards per game – 13th
219.1 passing yards per game – 18th
153.0 rushing yards per game – 2nd
20 turnovers – 6th

7.9 yards per pass attempt – 7th
61.7% pass completion – 9th
20 passing touchdowns – 18th
9 interceptions thrown – 3rd
92.7 quarterback rating – 7th
33 sacks allowed – 12th
190 yards lost on sacks – 9th

4.5 rushing yards per carry – 8th
18 rushing touchdowns – 3rd
5 fumbles lost – 28th

Ravens Defense
16.6 points per game – 3rd
288.9 yards per game – 3rd
196.3 passing yards per game – 4th
92.6 rushing yards per game – 2nd
26 turnovers – 13th

6.4 yards per pass attempt – 3rd
53.8% pass completion – 2nd
11 passing touchdowns – 1st
15 interceptions caught – 14th
68.8 quarterback rating – 1st
48 sacks – 3rd
290 yards lost on sacks – 5th

3.5 rushing yards per carry – 2nd
10 rushing touchdowns – 6th
3 fumbles recovered – 16th