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A Houston Fan Shares His Pick: Ravens vs. Texans

January 14, 2012

>> Back To Countdown To Kickoff: Ravens vs. Texans 

PressBox asked 45 local celebrities, experts and friends to share their predictions for Sunday's Ravens-Texans game and every one picked Baltimore to pull off the win at home. But we didn't stop there. PressBox wanted to know what a Houston fan would say.

Who better to ask than Chris, the owner and editor of

Here's what he had to say:

For the Texans, the key is keeping T.J. Yates out of third-and-long situations against Terrell Suggs and the Ravens. For the Ravens, they must stop Arian Foster early and often and force the Texans to rely on their rookie QB's arm.

Houston has been playing with house money ever since Matt Schaub went down for the season, and at some point the run has to end. You just can't keep on like this without key players, especially in the playoffs.

Prediction: Ravens 17, Texans 13

Key Matchup:
Ravens Defense vs. Arian Foster
The Ravens have held opponents to less than 4 yards per carry for an NFL-record 16 consecutive seasons, but Baltimore will be facing one of their most formidable ground-game challenges in third-year Texans running back Arian Foster.

Key Matchup:
Ray Rice vs. Texans OLBs

Even though the Texans' linebacking corps is young and fast enough to contribute to the league's second-ranked defense, it will have to be especially on its game to keep up with Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Key Matchup:
Brian Cushing vs. Matt Birk
If Matt Birk can stymie Brian Cushing even for a half-second, the Texans' youngster -- and 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year -- will likely be unable to get back outside in time to run down Ray Rice or Ricky Williams.

Key Matchup:
Ravens' Tackles vs. J.J. Watt

Michael Oher and Bryant McKinnie will face a tough challenge Sunday as they look to minimize the impact of J.J. Watt, Houston's rookie defensive end.

Key Matchup:
Andre Johnson vs. Ravens' CBs
Wide receiver Andre Johnson did not play in the Texans' October loss to the Ravens, but he does have 20 receptions for 276 yards in three career games against Baltimore. Can Baltimore's cornerbacks shut him down on Sunday?

Posted Jan. 14, 2012