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Join Date: Apr 2004
Re: Do Texans fans honestly think they're going to win?
Ravens vs. Texans: Baltimore Takes On Houston In First Home Playoff Game Under Coach Harbaugh
Ravens Texans Nfl Playoffs
By BARRY WILNER 01/13/12 11:29 AM ET AP
-- Ray Lewis hugged coach John Harbaugh and barked: "They're coming through Baltimore."
Yes, they are, Ray, at least this weekend.
The divisional round of the NFL playoffs will make a stop at the Inner Harbor on Sunday when the Ravens host the Houston Texans. It's the first home playoff game under Harbaugh, who led the team to a wild-card berth in his previous three seasons.
While the Ravens (12-4) don't have home-field advantage for the entire AFC playoffs unless New England loses Saturday night to Denver, it's a cozy start for Baltimore, which won all eight games at M&T Bank Stadium in 2011.
"If you look at wild-card weekend, I don't think that there was one home team that lost the whole weekend," Lewis said accurately. "When you get into that, it plays a big momentum. It's a big momentum swing for you. It's just hard to win on the road. I don't care who you are, I don't care how good you are, it's hard to win on the road.
"For us to work as hard as we did, get 12 wins, do the things we were supposed to do, and now get this home playoff game, we have positioned ourselves to be in the right place. Now we have to go finish it."
The divisional round begins Saturday with New Orleans (13-4) at San Francisco (13-3). It ends with the New York Giants (10-7) at defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay (15-1).
Houston lost 29-14 at Baltimore in October, when the Texans were healthier than they have been for the last six weeks. But they've dealt with their injuries so well that they won their first division crown and, last week in their postseason debut, beat the Bengals handily.
So if hosting a playoff game is relatively new for the Ravens – they have done it three times, but haven't won one since 2000, the year they took the Super Bowl – being in one is totally new this year for the Texans.
Also new would be a win over the Ravens, who are 5-0 against Houston.
"It's been pretty one-sided so, we've got to get on the board," tackle Eric Winston said. "At the same time, you've got to look back on it and I don't think a lot of that stuff is going to have a lot of bearing on this game either, though. So, there's different guys, there's a different situation and we all know from past experiences that playoffs, funny things happen in the playoffs and games turn out a lot different than they did in the regular season. So hopefully we can hold true to that."
I'll choose to go into this game with the mindset that it's easy to stand in front of bulls. But it's dang hard to bring them down.