Why the Texans can win… They steadied themselves with their first-round playoff triumph over the Bengals after finishing the regular season with three straight losses. That gave the Texans a win in the first playoff game in franchise history. Now they seek their first road playoff victory. To get it, they’ll probably have to play the same way they played against the Bengals. Rookie QB T.J. Yates had a modest 159 passing yards but didn’t throw an interception. RB Arian Foster ran for 153 yards and the Houston defense did the rest. In a season filled with record-setting passing exploits, this could be an old-fashioned sort of NFL playoff game. The Texans ranked second in the league in total defense during the regular season and the Ravens were third.

Why the Ravens can win… The Ravens went 8-0 at home during the regular season and beat the Texans, 29-14, at M&T Bank Stadium in October. The Baltimore offense showed good balance in that game, with QB Joe Flacco throwing for 305 yards and RB Ray Rice running for 101 yards. The Texans still had Matt Schaub at QB that day but were without WR Andre Johnson, who’s now back in the lineup. The Ravens, if things go as they hope, can match the Texans’ rugged defense and reliable running game while mixing in a few big pass plays from Flacco.

--Mark Maske