Ravens hold on to beat Texans, head to New England

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The Baltimore Ravens are one win away from the Super Bowl, after jumping out to a big lead early over the Houston Texans and then holding on late to gut out a 20-13 win.

Now the Ravens head to New England a week from today for the AFC Championship Game, where their defense will have a tough task against Tom Brady and Co. The Ravens’ defense sure looked up to the task against Houston, but then again T.J. Yates is no Brady.

Baltimore’s defense intercepted Yates three times, and a big day from Arian Foster wasn’t enough for Houston. The Texans have put together a great effort since losing their first- and second-string quarterbacks, Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, but a third-string rookie quarterback just wasn’t going to get the Texans to the Super Bowl.

The question for the Ravens is whether Joe Flacco can get them to the Super Bowl. The Ravens know their defense is good enough, but Flacco may not be: For all his talk during the week that he deserves some credit for what the Ravens have accomplished, Flacco basically just did the bare minimum against the Texans: He did throw two touchdown passes and avoided any interceptions, but he completed only 14 of 27 passes for 176 yards, and even those meager numbers were aided by some superior catches from the Ravens’ receiving corps.

But the Ravens have been to the Super Bowl with good defense and lousy offense before, and they may just be able to do it again. Safety Ed Reed appeared to be hurt on the Ravens’ final defensive play, a Yates Hail Mary pass into the end zone, so that’s a concern, although Reed gave a brief interview to NFL Network as he walked off the field and seemed to be feeling OK.

So this Ravens team can count on its defense. The question heading into New England will be whether the Ravens can also count on Flacco.

108 responses to “Ravens hold on to beat Texans, head to New England

  1. Should be a great AFC championship game. Great defense vs Great offense. I’m looking forward to it.

  2. I didn’t have a dog in this fight, but Yates really showed how green he was. 4th and 2, 20 seconds left, no timeouts. Why not throw a short pass, run up and spike it? Instead, he goes for it all, and throws it the same place where during the previous possession, he threw an ugly pick to Ed Reed. Ball knocked down. Game over.

    Maybe he didn’t make that call, but wow. Just seems like a waste. Congrats to the Ravens. Should be a helluva matchup next week.

  3. Yates got to greedy with that last pick, they had enough time they shoulve let arian run it. Still a good game though, hard hitting defense just the way football should be played.

  4. Yates is older than Tebow. Dalton about the same age as Tim. Tebow was 10x better than either in the playoffs.

  5. Queue up the trolls…shoulda, coulda, woulda…if’s dont count…regardless the Ravens pulled it off…Only two teams left in the AFC the #1 and #2 seeds yet somehow people still say one of the teams suck…

  6. For Tebow fans T.J. Yates is what an inexperienced QB with NFL skills looks like.

    Arian Foster is a monster. You can’t franchise an RB who has been underpaid for 3 years and then demand loyalty. Their careers are just too short. He’s earned a long-term guaranteed contract.

  7. Jacoby Jones = GOAT. His bonehead play took away Texans early lead and momentum. 7 points off his turnover = difference in the game.

  8. Patriots offense > Ravens defense
    Patriots defense > Ravens offense

    Any Ravens fan that thinks they are going to beat the Patriots after just barely pulling out today winning (not beating) against the Texans doesn’t know football as much as they may claim to.

    Simply put, Patriots are going to the Superbowl!

  9. The New England Patriots will shut up this loud mouth team who talks so much trash and has won NOTHING (hi T-Sizzle). Only Ray Lewis has a ring on that team, so he has my respect. Eddy Reed (who I hope is ok) is a stud and a true pro (doesn’t yap in the media). Other than that, the Ravens are just the Jets with a slightly better QB and will be sent home next week in Foxboro. Let’s goooo!!!!

  10. Everythings falling in place for the Pats… basically get a BYE week in the 1st round vs the Broncos and now going against an inept offense who’s also possibly without their best defensive playmaker in Ed Reed…

  11. Baltimore was dominated that whole game, obviously the 2 early turnovers were truly the difference. 14pts on turnovers and 6pts the rest of the game.

  12. Flacco wasn’t the problem. He played OK, made some terrific throws along with a few bad plays, like every QB. Can’t blame him for not being able to hit covered receivers.

    What really held the Ravens back was their O-line play (not scoring on a half-yard plunge?) and, once again, inexplicable play-calling by Cameron, especially at critical times. Those two short passes called @ 3 minutes to go were mind boggling.

  13. Great play by the Texans defense and, as a Texans fan, it was great to watch after last year’s unit was…..uh, awful.

    Next year should be interesting…….

  14. If Schaub plays then the Texans are on their way to New England. Ravens were outplayed all the way and Yates gave them the game.
    Brady will destroy the Ravens next weekend

  15. .

    Game Over ….Pat’s fans …….Shannon Sharpe just announced on CBS that you have no shot . Sorry.


  16. If only Bernard pollard was named James Harrison, perhaps his egregious helmet to helmet hit on Kevin Walter would have been called. Zero penalties for the ravens, what a joke.

  17. I’m surprised there are so many Pats fans who forget the throttling delivered in Foxboro two short years ago. Should be a good game, but these 2011 Pats don’t scare anyone.

  18. I thought, all things considered, the Texans did well today. I really did not expect them to win but they kept it close until the very end. The defense was awesome but (and I’m not putting the blame on him) a 3rd string QB playing in only his 5th NFL game really isn’t ready for a high stakes game like this one.

  19. This is how it should be, number 1 versus number 2. I look forward to the Patriots having the chance to beat the best remaining team to go to the Super Bowl. There will be no doubt that whichever AFC team makes it to the big game will have earned it.

    I like the Patriots next week. Their defense is much improved. Brady is clicking. This is the most mentally tough, resilient version of the Patriots since the 2008 team (no Brady but won 11 games.)

    Good luck Ravens fans. See you next week in Foxborough.

  20. Texans played extremely well on defense. Offensive line was strong as well. Yates just absolutely killed them with bad throws at bad times.

    I couldnt see either one of these teams being able to hang with New England. This game just confirmed that for me. Its going to be ugly. Joe Flacco needs to get this chip off his shoulder. The Ravens win in spite of him not because of him

  21. If the Ravens put Brady on his a$$ early, they can win. He’s a completely different QB when he’s hit and made to fill a little pain.

  22. 6ball says:
    Jan 15, 2012 4:24 PM

    Game Over ….Pat’s fans …….Shannon Sharpe just announced on CBS that you have no shot . Sorry.

    The same lame-brain who said that the Broncos would win. He simply can’t accept that the Patriots have a tight end who is way better than he ever thought of being.

  23. No penalties on Baltimore? That is absolutely absurd. There was holding, facemasking, Boldin slamming Jason Allen’s head to the turf, head-to-head hits, pass interference…nothing?

    If I were Arian Foster I’d hold out for about a zillion dollars. They should have gone to him in the end – the Texans’ best offensive player – but instead Yates threw a f#cking hail mary on 4th and 2 with half a minute left.

    I’m not one of those we-got-to-the-playoffs-with-a-rookie-it’s-all-good Texans fans. I’m pissed. This game turned on a couple of things that were absolutely not the product of the Ravens playin well. They were handed this game.

    No penalties my ass. F#ck this.

  24. bigtimetexanfan says:Jan 15, 2012 4:22 PM

    Baltimore was dominated that whole game, obviously the 2 early turnovers were truly the difference. 14pts on turnovers and 6pts the rest of the game

    ^ yes…because turning the ball over four times and not forcing the other team to turn it over is total domination…

  25. Not feeling confident with my Ravens. They have some SERIOUS work to correct this week if they want to beat El Divo Brady and the Patriots.

  26. Ravens were fortunate. The O-line was beaten on almost every play. Cam’s play calling during the last 3-4 minutes of each half was mind-boggling.

  27. I was rooting for the Ravens but man, they got whipped up front on the O-line, big time.

    If the Texans had any kind of QB play today, they won this game hands down.

    What a shame Reed got hurt on the last play of the game, what a bummer.

  28. To all the Ravens fans referencing the 2009 playoffs: NEWS FLASH: The Patriots lost their best WR to a torn ACL 6 days prior to that matchup and that was probably their worst team since 2002. This Patriots team is constructed A LOT differently with the 2 tight ends and a more mature defense. But keep yapping’….it’ll be funny watch you guys cry and make excuses on here next Sunday night.

  29. dawhorsefeathers says:
    Jan 15, 2012 4:27 PM
    I’m surprised there are so many Pats fans who forget the throttling delivered in Foxboro two short years ago. Should be a good game, but these 2011 Pats don’t scare anyone.
    Believe me we won’t forget. We’ve been hearing about it for 3 years from you guys even though that’s the only loss the Pats have ever had against your squad. Props to Balt for beating my team down 3 years ago. But this Pats team is almost 100% different attitude and toughness wise than that squad was. We’ll see what happens but a game 3 years ago has 0 bearing on next Sun. Just like Den’s playoff win against NE 6 years ago meant nothing last night.

    @ badtimeout- your squad lost to an 8-8 playoff team recently. The Saints coming off a SB win lost to a 7-9 team in the playoffs last year. There’s no such thing as “set up” for anything.

  30. It’s funny to read all these posts how the Texans dominated the Texans played well, the Ravens suck blah blah. The Texans lead for like 1 minute in this game…..1 minute……yeah they really dominated playing from behind the entire game. Thats just a fact, not an opinion.

  31. KIR says:
    Jan 15, 2012 4:31 PM
    If the Ravens put Brady on his a$$ early, they can win. He’s a completely different QB when he’s hit and made to fill a little pain.
    Wow. How completely unique to Brady. The rest of them handle it so well.

  32. For all you people saying the Ravens won despite Flacco:
    1. 2 TDs and ZERO interceptions
    2. How many times did he throw w/o a Houston defender on top of him?
    3. How many dropped passes have there been?
    4. How many of the 5 sacks were his fault?

    Now, I’m not going to say that he was the reason they won; but all these anti-Flacco comments are just not warranted here. It was an ugly win against a great Houston defense. Not many quarterbacks would have good stats against that defense.

  33. “He did throw two touchdown passes and avoided any interceptions, but he completed only 14 of 27 passes for 176 yards, and even those meager numbers were aided by some superior catches from the Ravens’ receiving corps.”

    Do you guys even watch the games? How about the four perfect passes that were dropped in the first half?

  34. Everybody including the ravens staff and htis site continuously forget one thing…Flacco is NOT an elite gunslinger. He is a solid quarterback who if he is allowed to play behind a solid running game he then plays very very well out of play action. The instant the ravens try to make him into an elite gunslinger he plays like the above and that’s because he is out of his element. Baltimore has the talent to play the way Joe is able to play well in…for some reason the raven continue to try to turn Flacco into something he isn’t.

  35. Please give Texans credit they played hard and have the number 2 NFL defense ….and besides QB what do the Pats have to make people think Ravens can’t stand a chance Pittsburgh showed how to beat the Pats and they’re D is ranked next to last…..so I’m thinking its going be close games.

  36. IF Texas would’ve had their starting qb, IF Texas wouldn’t have thrown ints, IF Texas hadn’t fumbled on the return, IF IF IF IF IF
    blah blah blah blah blah

    Guess what???? That is football! All of this is what makes a game. You can’t play the what if game – get over it!

    Texas played a great game. Ravens have some things to work on this week but don’t count us out. That would be a HUGE mistake!

  37. Flacco is horrible…all him and harbaugh and that whole group do is whine around. Worse AFC championship game in at least 10 years…Lets go NFC

  38. Since my dislike of the Patriots is only a TAD less than that of my hatred for the Cowgirls, I am pulling for the Ravens to win next week. BUT, based on the play this weekend, I’m afraid it will not happen. I HATE to say it but I think the Pats are probably the best team in the AFC this year.

    My fanatical Cowboy fan son called to gloat over the Texans’ loss today and I told him, “Well, at least they were IN the play-offs unlike that other Texas team!” He hung up on me.

  39. Reason #1,776 why the Ravens are the Jets: Their fans talk smack about a 2009 playoff win when their team got WAXED the following week in Indy by 3 touchdowns. They don’t give out trophies for Wild Card weekend wins. #losers #lmfao

  40. Flacco’s receivers dropped at least 5 passes they should have caught, not to mention the oline got blown up every play. All things considered he did alright. It’s amazing how much crap he gets even when he wins, yet if its Sanchez or Ryan? NOTHING… You yellow media folk are some weak, condescending fools! No go ahead and delete like you always do.

  41. Andre’s Johnson says:
    Jan 15, 2012 4:34 PM

    If I were Arian Foster I’d hold out for about a zillion dollars.
    I told you a million times, “Don’t exagerate.”

  42. It’ll be interesting to see if the Pats can actually beat a team next weekend that had a winning record during the regular season…something they haven’t done all season

  43. If Boldin doesn’t at least get a fine for slamming Jason Allen’s head into the turf, I might start to have a little bit of sympathy for Steelers fans who think their team (and Harrison in particular) is picked on…

    At any rate, should be a good game next week – Baltimore has better Safety and LB play to keep up with New England’s TE threat a little better than Denver did, but if they can’t get more pressure on Brady than they did on Yates today, I don’t think they have much of a shot.

  44. Flacco Ricky Williams and Quan were the only players on offense who were doing their jobs. Rice played awful, and all of the receivers made some bad drops. Flacco’s numbers also weren’t great considering he was going up against THE best defense in the NFL. In the end it was a decent game for Flacco, it wasn’t a great game but it was a lot better then you guys are making it out to be. He had a handful of bad passes, but the majority of his incompletions were throw aways or drops. His pocket awareness was terrible for most of the game but he got a lot better in the last quarter. You can hate on Flacco all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that we won BECAUSE of him and our D. Haters are gonna hate and winners are gonna win and most of your teams didn’t win. My Ravens though! They balled out and earned a trip to New England. So don’t be mad just because your team couldn’t cut it.

  45. Not the best game by Flacco, but his receivers dropped 4 balls that were easy completions. Add 4 more completions and 70 yards, then check out his stats. He is not the problem.

  46. Mistake to think these games carry over. Games are all about matchups.

    I actually think the Pats fired their best shot against Denver and the Ravens will play much better next week. One thing’s for sure…Flacco doesn’t play better, Ravens lose.

    Still expect a one-score game in the 4th, where Brady has the edge…but he makes mistakes, too.

  47. Patriots D is horrible!!!!! Flacco will be able to throw on them but he wont have to when ay Rice is getting the ball and running it down there throat……….I hope everyone picks the patriots!!!!! Thats usually when baltimore plays its best. If you think the New England D will play as good as the Houston D did today……you better wake up. The ravens barely even blitzed today. That will change next week.

  48. First and foremost, remember when this site said that patriots dynasty is over?

    Second- I’m more upset about having to listen to Suggs all week than I was about hearing all of the tebow crap this week.

  49. Flacco’s stats:

    11 first downs

    4-16 3rd down

    140 yds passing, half of them on screens. In 8 postseason games, Flacco has passed>200 yds once.

    1 fumble, his 4th postseason fumble.

    2 TDs. One from 1ft line, where he threw it behind a wide open receiver.

    5 sacks were partially because he’s a clueless statue in the pocket. They only trust him to throw backshoulder fades along the sideline. Rarely let him throw over the middle. His coaches know better.

    Absolutely zero leadership qualities.

    Barely beat a team at home that had a 3rd string rookie QB that had 5 giveaways, not takeaways.

    See ya next week.

  50. Flacco’s receivers drop the ball a lot because he keeps throwing @ guys that are covered and it’s always a little high or a little outside, etc. He’s lucky Evans and Boldin made a couple of circus catches today.

  51. Well, Ravens fans, I tried to congratulate you on your victory, but obviously the censors have a problem with good sportsmanship–and me. They don’t want a Steelers fan to congratulate the Ravens and say she’s looking forward to a good game next week. And they’ve removed every single post I’ve submitted this evening. Their professionalism is staggering–as usual.

  52. How long before the Ravens are called for a b.s. roughing the passer? I give it by the 5th play of the game.

  53. I think it will be a good game but you guys bashing the Ravens fail to realized that Houston has arguably the best defense and running back in the NFL! They would have made any team look bad! Where does the Pats D and RB rank? I don’t think they will pressure Flacco like Houston or run the ball like Houston..I do think Brady will get his passes but I don’t think the Pats D will stuff the run and get to the QB and that 31st ranked D will be their downfall. Ray Rice, all day long will keep Brady off the field. Ravens in a close one. Brady gets atleast one roughing call by whining.

  54. MDS, did you even watch the game? His receivers dropped 5 catchable balls. Just dropped. Boldin and Torrey Smith are amongst the lead leaders in drops on the year.

    Furthermore, yea, he threw 2 TDs and no picks. The only way they moved the ball today was by throwing it against the 2nd best pass defense in the league.

    Dear Lord. I’m not saying the guy is amazing, but the lack of respect for a guy who has won more games in his first 4 seasons than any quarterback EVER has gone a little too far at this point. He took care of business. On to New England.

  55. As a Patriots fan living an hour away from Baltimore, I can say that I have been savoring this game for 3 long years. PAYBACK TIME.

  56. Jeez give Houston some credit! There defense is spectacular, the ravens will have a field day with the pats defense. Pats fans need to relax a little, this is no free ticket to the superbowl, bmore is gonna come to play, If you overlook the ravens, your hearts will be broken again. Go ravens! Ray rice is soooooooo nice

  57. Ravens Fan to Pats Fans….

    We look forward to this game. You have arguably the best playoff QB of all time and a freak of a TE and other weapons. Any honest fan knows that this is an offense to respect. Im not comparing this to the 2009 game, I hope for a better game (with the same outcome).

    However to say this is going to be a blowout win and a boring game is moronic. Patriots record against teams with a winning record this year? 0-2.

    So let’s just play the game and enjoy the AFC championship. I think the Ravens,49’ers and Giants proved this weekend that defense does still matter.

  58. To all Pats fans, and Ravens haters; we ain’t gotta talk about it. Sunday, 3 pm, for the AFC crown.

    And p.s. yes, the Ravens have lost to the Pats 6x, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? See, its funny how y’all say Ravens fans still harp on the 1 win we had against the Pats 3 yrs ago, but y’all still refer to yourselves as this Pats dynasty, when y’all just won y’all 1st playoff game in 3 yrs. They don’t reward you for pass success. Sun, 3pm, winner takes AFC, lets get IT!!!!!!!

  59. that is a two way street Ravensfan. If we cant talk about the past then both sides shouldnt. I agree with your main point, but its not like Ravens fans arent talking their fair share of smack about 2009.

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