It wasn’t at all pretty. Not even close. The Ravens totaled 227 yards of offense and it still was enough to carry them into the AFC title game against the Patriots.
What the Ravens did do perfectly on Sunday is what they usually do well and that is play stifling defense all game long and did not commit a single turnover or penalty.
Having finished 9-0 at home this season, the Ravens never had a doubt about what the outcome of the game would be. The two stalwarts of their dominant defense, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed came up with big plays on Sunday to help seal the hard fought win. Lewis had a team-high seven tackles and Reed had an interception (one of two by the Ravens in the final eight minutes of the game) near the goal line late in the game.
Houston’s stars looked good as well. Receiver Andre Johnson had 111 yards for the game and Arian Foster kept it close by becoming the first ever running back to rush for100 yards against the Ravens in a postseason game, rushing for 132 and a touchdown on the day.
The Texans were, however, done in by a rookie quarterback playing like a rookie quarterback. T.J. Yates threw for just 184 yards and threw three interceptions on the game. He had previously thrown three interceptions total in his six games that he started this season.
The Ravens punted almost as many times in the game (nine) as the total number of first downs that they had (eleven). But still, because of their hard-hitting, fast-charging defense and their ability to force the Texans into mistakes they were able to hang on for the victory.
Offensive Player of the Game
Arian Foster (Texans RB) – 27 carries for 132 yards, 1 TD
Defensive Player of the Game
Ed Reed (Ravens Safety) – 6 tackles, 4 pass deflections, 1 INT
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS