Skip to main content

Everything You Need to Know: Ravens vs. Texans



Kickoff: 4:30 p.m., Saturday, M&T Bank Stadium

TV: WMAR Channel 2 (Baltimore), WUSA Channel 9 (Washington), nationally televised on ESPN, ABC and more. ESPN crew Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analyst), Laura Rutledge (sideline), Lisa Salters (sideline)

Radio: WBAL 1090 AM & 98 Rock 97.9 FM, Sirius XM Chs. 82 or 226. Ravens crew Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Rod Woodson (analyst). Westwood One Sports, Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (analyst), Ryan Leaf (sideline)


The Ravens lead the all-time series, 11-2, including a 1-0 advantage in the postseason. The first Ravens-Texans playoff meeting occurred Jan. 15, 2012, when Baltimore prevailed, 20-13, in the divisional round at M&T Bank Stadium. Including that postseason victory, the Ravens are unbeaten (7-0) at home against Houston. This is a rematch of Week 1, when Baltimore opened the season at home with a 25-9 victory. Lamar Jackson completed 17-of-22 passes for 169 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, while rookie Zay Flowers caught nine passes for 78 yards in his NFL debut. Baltimore's defense didn't allow a touchdown, holding Houston rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud to 242 yards and sacking him five times. Roquan Smith led the Ravens with 16 tackles.


Baltimore can reach the AFC Championship Game for the first time since its Super Bowl season in 2012. The Ravens have never played a conference championship game at home but will host either Buffalo or Kansas City next week if they win. Houston can also advance to the conference championship for the first time. Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and Stroud can become the first rookie head coach/quarterback combination to reach the conference title game since Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez did it with the Jets in 2009.

Key Storylines

Will Lamar Jackson carry his MVP play into the postseason?

Jackson had a superb season as a quarterback and leader, and winning his second MVP award seems like a forgone conclusion. The only unfinished business in Jackson's career is the most important thing – winning a Super Bowl. His focus has been unwavering, totally locked in on bringing another Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore. He's more experienced than he was in 2019 when the Ravens squandered being the No. 1 seed. Jackson didn't make it through the season healthy the past two seasons and he's waited a long time to improve on his 1-3 playoff record. This is an opportunity to take his team and his legacy to another level, and if he plays lights-out, the Ravens will be extremely difficult to beat.

How sharp will the Ravens be after their bye?

Baltimore took a business-like approach to their time off, including a practice at M&T Bank Stadium and staying in game mode as much as possible. The Ravens played with remarkable consistency this season, never trailing by more than seven points until Week 18 when they had already locked up the No. 1 seed and rested many starters. The bye was Baltimore's reward for being the best team in the AFC during the regular season, and it gave injured players more time to get healthy. However, after a long layoff Baltimore will face the challenge of finding a rhythm quickly in a do-or-die situation.

Can the Ravens' defense keep Stroud from ruining their season?

The Ravens were the first team in league history to lead the league in points allowed (16.5), sacks (60) and takeaways (31). Baltimore's defense has enjoyed a special season but wants to become even more dominant during the playoffs. The Ravens will face a hot quarterback in the 22-year-old Stroud, the first rookie to lead the league in touchdown-to-interception ratio (23-5), and the youngest quarterback to win a playoff game. The Texans were just 2-4 when Stroud threw for fewer than 250 yards, and if the Ravens contain him as they did in Week 1, Houston will have a difficult time pulling off the upset.

Players to Watch

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham is a proven playoff performer who's been gearing up for the postseason since he signed with Baltimore. After a season of building chemistry with Jackson, Beckham's emergence as a go-to target in the playoffs could take the offense to another level.

CB Brandon Stephens

With Marlon Humphrey (calf) out, Stephens and the Ravens' other cornerbacks face a tough assignment in big-bodied Texans wide receiver Nico Collins (1,297 yards receiving), who is dangerous deep down the field. Stephens has been the team's most consistent cornerback and the Ravens will need that from him against Houston.

S Kyle Hamilton

Hamilton says he's fully recovered from his late season knee injury. The All-Pro hasn't played since Christmas against the 49ers, and Hamilton's ability to impact the game in multiple ways will be a key to the game plan against Stroud.

Related Content