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January 9, 2012

Don't wish too hard...

Everybody -- including me -- wanted the Ravens to play the Texans this Sunday in the first home playoff game of the John Harbaugh era, but if you think that this is a walkover matchup for the Ravens, think again.

The Texans have a lot going for them, including -- not except for -- rookie quarterback T.J. Yates. While everybody has been swooning over Tim Tebow the last few weeks, Houston's third-string quarterback has held things together and kept the Texans on track for an upper-half seed in the postseason.

He looked pretty good against the Bengals and he's got Arian Foster to keep the pressure off him. The Texans could jump up and bite the Ravens in the tail-feather area if Joe Flacco spends too much time going downfield on third and short and wastes a bunch of possessions.

Don't misunderstand. Given the choice among the available opponents going into this past weekend, I chose the Texans, but only because I never imagined that Tebow and the Broncos ewould be available. Certainly, I'd rather have Denver coming here and the Patriots playing the Bengals, but the planets are only going to line up so much and then it's up to the Ravens to just win.

Will they? I would think so. They're 8-0 at home this year and Harbaugh is undefeated after his four regular-season bye weeks. They beat the Texans by 15 points at home earlier this season, and that was when Matt Schaub was healthy. Yes, they should win, but that doesn't mean they will, so let's hold the Tom Brady talk until after the game.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:36 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Just football
        

Comments

Dear Pete,

I totally agree with you. We can't get over-confident. Everybody needs to come to this game fired up, from players to fans. Not that anybody back home needs to hear this, but fans can change a game, especially against a rookie QB. We've all gotta be positive and loud. I'm a Baltimore native and flying from China for this game; yes, it's true. I'm going to be jet lagged as hell, but going nuts. Can't wait for Sunday, Go RAVENS!

Even as a fan I never take the Ravens' opponents lightly; this year that was more necessary than ever (Jags, Seahawks, ahem). The Ravens need to feed off the home crowd, play mistake-free football, and show the world they will give either Tebow or Brady a rough out in the AFC Championship game.

We fans in Houston Texas were hoping to see the Ravens in the playoffs, too. Here in Houston, fans have watched one player after another, fall only to have the next man step up and play hard ball. This Sunday, Ravens fans you're getting the horns.

"The Texans could jump up and bite the Ravens in the tail-feather area if Joe Flacco spends too much time going downfield on third and short and wastes a bunch of possessions."

Oh please, I'm so sick of you guys bashing on Flacco, his numbers are down this year because the Ravens went younger and wanted more speed, well Torrey has been good at times and at other times he fades away, doesnt run full speed...Lee Evans? haha

This offense went through growing pains and there were also many dropped balls..when this offense stalls it's because Cam Cameron is so predictable with what he does...run, run. pass...wow thats groundbreaking

if the ravens lose this game it will be because the defense couldnt stop the run, and/or tackle...Houston will be tough against the run so Cam is going to have to open the offensive playbook and call some plays....Joe Flacco can make all the throws but his guys have to get open, make plays for him

There is no "free lunch" in the NFL as the Steelers can attest to after yesterday. However, as you point out, we already beat the Texans with their starting QB and it will be incumbent upon us to stop their running game while putting points on the board. That being said, if Chuck Pagano lapses into the NFL defensive coordinators' "default" use of the 3 man rush in known passing situations, even a T.J. Yates can find an open receiver given time. One cannot underestimate the importance of "home field advantage" that saw ALL home teams winning this past weekend!

After Sunday night? I dont think the media of so-called experts on TV, radio, and the press, know what the Hell there talking about! Nody gave the Broncos a shot at all and were already talking Steelers and Patriots. Now to say the Texans have a shot in Baltimore? Hell NO !!! Look, this isn't 2006 Peter! The key veterans on this team know the time is near it's ending with careers and chances at the SB. That stadium crowd of 70,000 plus has them inspired to play hard for us! They had the bye week, there rested, and focused! Ravens win this game in a statement game!!!

Hit the nail on the head there, Pete. Always wondered why Flacco has been trying to force stuff downfield on third down and not go for the easy first down? I understand you need to take shots sometimes, but sometimes just take the yards and wait until 1st or 2nd down instead.

We will destroy this weak Texans team. No way our defense lets a third string fifth round qb beat us! They couldn't beat us earlier in the year and they won't do it now either. We are 9 point favorites! Rice will run all over this defense too. Here we come Patriots - get ready!

Peter: They are not going to be a pushover, by any stretch. If they can successfully shut down Ray Rice and force Flacco to beat them - the strategy they employed against the Bengals - it could be a long Sunday afternoon. Anyone now blowing Purple Kool-Aid bubbles remember how we lost our the four games? And Peter, can you please try to talk some sense into Cowherd, who appears already to have imbibed far too much PKA?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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