The first game on Sunday, January 15th, is at 1:00pm. It is the Houston Texans at the Baltimore Ravens on CBS.
The first factor in this game is the weather. This games is in Baltimore and it is the middle of the winter. Houston who is already inexperiened in postseason play as this is only their second playoff game in the franchise’s history, is also inexperienced in playing in not so ideal situations. The forecast for gameday is a high of 37 degress and a 30% chance of precipiation. Houston relies mostly on their running game anyway since they are starting their third string quarterback T.J. Yates, but they might have to rely heavily on it if snow begins to fall in Baltimore.
Raven’s QB Joe Flacco is still trying to prove he belongs in the covnersation with the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. He has taken teams to the playoffs in the past but, they haven’t made much noise. The defense of the Ravens is ageing and they aren’t as spectacular as they have been is seasons past. This puts more pressure on Flacco and the offense to put more points up on the board to compete with the Texans. The Texans are powered by their running attack with RB Arian Foster romping around the field. The Texans handled the Bengals last weekend 31-10 and are looking to advance to the AFC championship game. Yates doesn’t throw a lot in their offense but, when he does he needs to be accurate to move the ball down the field and keep the Texans in the game.
Bottom Line: The defense of the Ravens will have enough life to contain Foster and Flacco will have an average day pasing. Yates will be forced to throw the ball to put points on the board, but will be unsuccessful. Ravens win and advance to the AFC championship game.