NFL playoffs: Texans vs. Ravens


View Photo Gallery: If Ray Rice is rolling up the yardage, the Ravens increase their chances of beating the Houston Texans. (Andy Lyons | Getty Images)

For the Baltimore Ravens, so many have so much to prove in the AFC divisional playoff game at 1 p.m. today (CBS) against the Houston Texans.

Quarterback Joe Flacco wants to prove that he belongs. The Rays — Lewis and Rice — have different reasons but want the same result. Ray Lewis would like to get back to the Super Bowl before the window on his career slams shut. Ray Rice wants to show that he is a premier running back in the playoffs.

John Harbaugh presumably would like to prove that he’s every bit as successful an NFL coach as his brother, Jim, whose San Francisco 49ers advanced to the NFC championship game with a victory over the New Orleans Saints. An All-Harbaugh Super Bowl would be something to behold, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Ravens have to get past the Texans first. Past results are no guarantee of future success — even though the Ravens went a formidable 8-0 at M&T Bank Stadium in the regular season and beat Houston 29-14 in October. They’re the only NFL team to get to the playoffs each of the last four years. Will they get to next week's AFC championship game against New England?

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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