The Baltimore Ravens are headed for the AFC Championship game for the first time since the 2008 season. Using the same formula from that season of a strong defense and a balanced offense, the Ravens beat the Houston Texans by a final score of 20-13 in their AFC Divisional matchup on Sunday afternoon.
Safety Ed Reed sealed the deal, intercepting T.J. Yates and ending Houston's last chance to even the score with two minutes left to play. That was the third interception of the game for Yates, a fifth-round rookie thrust into action after the Texans lost Matt Schaub and Matt Leinert in the second half of the season. Yates finished the game 17-for-35 with 184 passing yards and no touchdowns. Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb picked off Yates twice.
The Ravens failed to sack Yates once in this game, getting shown up by the Texans' defensive line that sacked Joe Flacco five times. The sacks aside, Flacco managed to complete 14 of 27 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin made it easy for Flacco with some highlight-worthy catches. Boldin finished the game with four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Houston running back Arian Foster led his team's offense, as usual. Reminding the world why he's one of the top running backs in the game right now, he ran for 132 yards on 27 carries and added a touchdown.
Baltimore fans held their breath as Ed Reed was helped off the field on the second-to-last play of the game. His status is still unknown.
Baltimore continued the trend of the home teams winning in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
The Ravens defense gets its toughest test yet next Sunday when they hit the road to face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. New England rolled over the Broncos on Saturday by a final score of 45-10.
Keep up with the latest news, score updates and video highlights on our Texans vs. Ravens StoryStream. For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on the Texans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule.