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Pundit Picks: Two Analysts Are Picking Texans to Beat Ravens



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Stephania Bell
Matt Bowen
Mike Clay
Dan Graziano
Kimberly Martin
Eric Moody
Jason Reid
Lindsey Thiry
Seth Wickersham


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Childs Walker
Ravens 31, Texans 20 “The Ravens will enter as heavy favorites and deservedly so given their dominant finish to the regular season. The Texans established themselves as a dangerous team against the Browns. C.J. Stroud is a poised, deadly passer, and Houston has young defensive stars to complement him. But Lamar Jackson will come out firing against a vulnerable pass defense, and the Ravens will come up with enough different looks to keep Stroud less comfortable than he was against Cleveland. They will begin their Super Bowl push with a convincing victory.”
Brian Wacker
Ravens 27, Texans 17 "Expect Baltimore to lean on Lamar Jackson to strike early, set up the run, take an early lead then zero in on Stroud. If Houston can force an early turnover or two and control the clock with the running game, things could get uncomfortable for the Ravens. But the more likely scenario is for Baltimore to do what it has done all season: harass Stroud, get out in front and lean on its defense and ground game to close it out.”
C.J. Doon
Ravens 33, Texans 20 “Simply put, this Ravens team is better and more mature than the 2019 version that went one-and-done. They did not have veterans like Roquan Smith, Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy and Odell Beckham Jr. when they lost to the Titans, and Lamar Jackson was not the leader he is today. The Texans will enter with plenty of confidence and young stars ready to grab the spotlight from the NFL’s best team, but the Ravens have answered every challenge with authority over the past few months behind a dominant defense and the league’s Most Valuable Player. Expect more of the same with their season and reputation on the line.”
Tim Schwartz
Ravens 34, Texans 24 “C.J. Stroud and the Texans are playing with house money but Baltimore’s defense led the league in sacks, takeaways and points per game, and if there’s one way to slow the rookie down, it’s pressure. Expect Stroud to get his numbers but for the Ravens to, in the end, comfortably win a high-scoring game.”


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Jarrett Bell
Ravens 30, Texans 20
Chris Bumbaca
Ravens 30, Texans 17
Nate Davis
Ravens 28, Texans 20
Safid Deen
Ravens 28, Texans 24
Tyler Dragon
Ravens 27, Texans 20
Mike Middlehurst-Schwartz
Ravens 28, Texans 20
Lorenzo Reyes
Ravens 28, Texans 21

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Ali Bhanpuri
Ravens 24, Texans 20
Brooke Cerosimo
Ravens 28, Texans 21
Dan Parr
Ravens 26, Texans 20 “Maybe C.J. Stroud is on the type of heater that makes some of the conventional wisdom/metrics obsolete. I'm one more Texans win away from feeling confident we've reached that place, and maybe I'll be late to the party. For now, though, I'll say the phenom will meet his match in Baltimore. The Ravens' defense ranked first in completion percentage, pass yards per attempt, pass TD-to-INT ratio and passer rating allowed on deep passes during the regular season, per Next Gen Stats. But that's only slightly better than the Browns' marks in those categories, and Stroud just obliterated them. The bigger difference is Houston will be on the road on Saturday and its defense will be lining up across from the likely league MVP instead of on-his-last-legs Joe Flacco. After three weeks of rest, Lamar Jackson outduels his young counterpart and slays the Divisional Round demons that have haunted him for years.”
Gennaro Filice
Ravens 23, Texans 20
Tom Blair
Ravens 24, Texans 17


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Pundit Projected Winner Commentary
Adam Rank
Ravens 24, Texans 21
Colleen Wolfe
Ravens 26, Texans 17
Marcas Grant
Ravens 27, Texans 21
Maurice Jones-Drew
Ravens 31, Texans 17
Daniel Jeremiah
Ravens 34, Texans 27
Nick Shook
Texans 28, Ravens 27
Kevin Patra
Ravens 27, Texans 20
Marc Sessler
Ravens 41, Texans 32
Grant Gordon
Ravens 27, Texans 17
Eric Edholm
Ravens 25, Texans 19


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Vinnie Iyer
Ravens 27, Texans 20 “C.J. Stroud and the Texans are benefiting from a well-schemed 49ers-mirroring offense with lesser weapons. A similar thing is happening for DeMeco Ryans as the rookie leader of the defense with another high-drafted rookie, Will Anderson Jr. leading the way. Much like the Packers, the Texans won't get the big interceptions to spark them for a second straight week. But Stroud can hang in there with help from the run to keep Houston in it much better than in his NFL debut in Baltimore in Week 1. Lamar Jackson, however, makes the big difference by being sharp passing all over the field and finding holes in the Texans zone. He also can elude pressure with bursts downfield to boost a limited traditional running game. In the end, Stroud will face plenty of the Ravens' pass rush, led by former Texan Jadeveon Clowney, to close the door late.”


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Pete Prisco
Ravens 30, Texans 29 “The Texans are coming off an impressive home victory over the Browns, while the Ravens are coming off a bye. The rest could be good for the Ravens, but the starters haven't played in three weeks. That might matter. This will be the first road playoff game for Texans rookie passer C.J. Stroud, which can be a challenge. It can be even tougher against the Ravens stout defense. They will throw a bunch of different looks at Stroud. How he handles those will be key. Lamar Jackson will be the league MVP, but he has to go out and show he can do it in a playoff game. The pressure is on. But I think in this offense he will respond. Look for a lot of points as both quarterbacks play well, but the Ravens will win a close one behind Jackson.”
Will Brinson
Jared Dubin
Ryan Wilson
John Breech
Texans 23, Ravens 20 “The Texans have never made it to a conference title game, they've never won a road playoff game and I never pick their games correctly, so this seems like a good time for all three of those streaks to end.”
Tyler Sullivan
Dave Richard
Jamey Eisenberg


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Mike Florio
Ravens 30, Texans 23 “I think at the end of the day, the Ravens at home, the extra time, the quality of the coaching staff, the ability to come up with something to confuse C.j. Stroud or force an interception or fumble, that makes the difference. Ravens win.”
Chris Simms
Ravens 27, Texans 17 “I’m going to be shocked if the Ravens get caught sleeping here. Now do I think that means they’re necessarily going to come out and be hitting on all cylinders? No. I still think there will be a little bit of a rust factor … but I think clearly the Ravens are the better football team.”


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Albert Breer
Mitch Goldich
Claire Kuwana
Gilberto Manzano
Connor Orr
John Pluym
Matt Verderame

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