Texans Vs. Ravens 2012: Baltimore Hosts AFC Divisional Round Matchup

The Texans move onto the divisional round after beating the Bengals. Houston now travels to Baltimore where they'll play the Ravens on Sunday, January 15.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Texans Vs. Ravens: Arian Foster And Ray Lewis Become Fast Friends

The Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens will face off in Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff game, presumably with every intention of beating each other into a pulp. Arian Foster and Ray Lewis, especially, will likely butt heads more often than any other opposing pair of players on the field. Despite their diametrically opposed positions on the field, however, the two have actually become very tight friends this season, the New York Times reports.

The relationship began in the second quarter of the 2010 meeting between the teams, according to Lewis.

"I walked up to him and said: ‘I love the way you play this game. You have a very, very bright future,' " Lewis said last week, adding:

"I just think he has all of the tools. And then he's driven by a different burner inside. He was an undrafted guy with a lot of talent, so he is fueled by something different. Anytime you add that type of fuel with talent, you get Arian Foster."

The two have remained close since that moment, hanging out the ESPY's and talking and exchanging texts over the last week. Foster didn't skip on the high praise for Lewis, either.

"Those kind of moments are just priceless to me because he's just a great human spirit, and anytime that you can be around people like that that inspire you, that's what life's about is being inspired," said Foster, who was also named to the Pro Bowl this season.

Find out whether or not the pair will actually hit each other when the Texans and Ravens kick off in Baltimore at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beat Down and for more on the Texans check out Battle Red Blog. Also be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoffs news.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Sunny And Crisp For Sunday Afternoon Game In Baltimore

The Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans will clash in Baltimore in the early game Sunday afternoon for a chance to play the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Mass. next week in the AFC Championship. Both teams' offenses feed off the running game, with two of the AFC's Pro Bowl selections in Ray Rice and Arian Foster, and the weather conditions won't be hindering that: Weather.com predicts the conditions will be sunny, near 35 degrees and winds between 10 and 15 m.p.h.

The only effect the weather figures to have is those winds on field goals. The Ravens and Texans both have reliable kickers, so chances are they know how to play the wind. The gusts aren't really powerful enough to have much effect on deep throws, which figure heavily into the Ravens' offense to rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith from big-armed Joe Flacco.

For continued updates and analysis for these two teams, visit Texans blog Battle Red Blog and Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down. Also be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoffs news.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf To Call Game For CBS

CBS has dispatched their "A" team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to Foxborough to cover Saturday night's prime time Denver Broncos-New England Patriots, leaving their No. 2 broadcast team of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf to call Sunday afternoon's Houston Texans-Baltimore Ravens game.

Dierdorf gives the Texans little chance against the AFC North champs.

"Congratulations to the Texans for making the playoffs for the first time ever and winning a playoff game, but they are in for a rude awakening," Dierdorf said in a statement released by the network. "It is one thing to beat Cincinnati at home and quite another to go to Baltimore and play a rested, extremely balanced football team."

Dierdorf added the the Texans running game and defense gives them "a puncher's chance", though running the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals is different than running the ball against the Ravens. On the season, the Bengals allowed 12.1 more rushing yards per game than the Ravens.

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on theTexans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Houston Texans head into the second playoff game in franchise history looking to pick up another playoff win and avenge a regular season loss to the Baltimore Ravens. This Texans team is a bit different than the first matchup however, as quarterback T.J. Yates is now under center and the Texans will have star wide receiver Andre Johnson back in the lineup. "All I am thinking about is what is next for this organization," said Johnson. "So we go to Baltimore (this) week, and we are going to try to go up there and do what we did (Saturday)." Getting Johnson back should be a boost to the offense and running back Arian Foster, who the Ravens held to just 49 rushing yards in the first matchup.

The Baltimore Ravens on the other hand got to watch the playoffs from home, as they won their first AFC North title since the 2006 season and the No. 2 seed in the playoffs earning a first round bye week. The Ravens haven't won a home playoff game since the 2000 season, when the team beat the Denver Broncos 21-3, a win that propelled the Ravens to go on to win Super Bowl XXXV. "We have the team to do it now. We don't have too many more excuses," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. "Let's go do it right now. Then whatever else comes after that for all of your careers, you go enjoy it, but go win a championship." The Ravens have won 10 straight home games recently however, dating back to the 2010 season and beating the opponent by an average of 11.2 points.

Date & Time: Sunday, January 15th, 1:00 p.m. ET

Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

TV: CBS

Announcers: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on theTexans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Texans Vs. Ravens: Both Teams Enter Sunday's Game Relatively Healthy

The Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans are both relatively healthy heading into Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium. For the Texans, "relative" is the key word, considering they will be without the likes of Mario Williams and Matt Schaub due to season-ending injuries. Outside of those on IR, no one on Houston's roster is listed as anything worse than "probable."

That includes wide receiver Andre Johnson, who should see an increased workload as he works his way back from a knee injury. He caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown during last week's win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Only Brendon Ayanbadejo and Jameel McClain are listed as questionable this week for the Ravens. According to Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down, there should not be any concern with any of the five players listed as "probable" on the injury report, however, including Anquan Boldin (knee) and rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith (head).

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beat Down and for more on the Texans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Texans Vs. Ravens: SI's Peter King Doesn't Like Houston's Chances

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans earlier this season, but the two teams will square off again in the playoffs. In the first meeting, the Texans didn't have Andre Johnson but they did have starting quarterback Matt Schaub. In the rematch, the Texans have Andre Johnson but they don't have Schaub. While T.J. Yates has been more than serviceable, Sports Illustrated's Peter King isn't so sure it will be enough to beat the Ravens.

Joe Flacco's right: He's never going to have the big numbers in the Baltimore offense -- but that's not only because the Ravens have a great runner in Ray Rice. It's because Flacco hasn't progressed as a passer the way the team had hoped. His 57.6-percent accuracy was 25th in the league this year, and how are you going to have your offensive coordinator and your head coach trust you to be a bombs-away guy when you're completing passes at a Kevin Kolb rate? I think Rice out-runs Arian Foster here anyway. Ravens 30, Texans 20.

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on theTexans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs 2012, Texans Vs. Ravens: Brian Cushing Reminds Ray Lewis Of Himself

The Houston Texans are bringing one of the better defenses in the NFL to Maryland on Sunday to take on the Baltimore Ravens. In turn, the Ravens also have one of the best defenses in the league and it's build around inside linebacker Ray Lewis. Lewis is a 13-time Pro Bowler and has been arguably the best player at his position since his rookie year in the NFL. Lewis sees a little bit of himself in Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing.

"I just think he plays with a very, very, very high motor," Lewis told the Houston Chronicle. "It's one special thing that every linebacker, a good linebacker, has to have. And that is one thing that I appreciate about the way he plays football." Cushing took the compliment highly, since he idolized Lewis coming up in football. "[Lewis] told me to stay healthy and to keep doing what I'm doing," Cushing told the Houston Chronicle. "Any chance I get to talk to him and pick his brain, I do. ... He's the No. 1 guy I watched. I've always looked up to him."

Both players certainly play with a relentless attitude and with violence. Both are the tone setters for their respective defenses.

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on theTexans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Game Schedule And More

The Houston Texans are coming off the first playoff victory in franchise history, but it will take another first to keep their season going.

The Texans have their eyes set on the AFC Championship game, but first they'll need to knock off the Baltimore Ravens for the first time in their 10-year existence Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in a Divisional Playoff battle between two teams led by versatile running backs and top-five defenses.

The only team in the NFL to have made the postseason in each of the past four years, the Ravens went 6-0 against playoff teams this season and have won their last 10 home games. They are looking to advance to the AFC Championship for the third time in team history and for the first time since 2008.

Date & Time: Sunday, January 15th, 1:00 p.m. ET

Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

TV: CBS

Announcers: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Ravens Vs. Texans: Ravens Prepared To Pressure T.J. Yates

When the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens met in the regular season, the Ravens defense got to Texans quarterback Matt Schaub four times. Schaub, and his top backup Matt Leinart, are both on injured reserve, propelling 2011 fifth-round pick T.J. Yates into a starting role.

Yates was efficient in last week's home playoff win over the Cincinnati Bengals, completing 11-of-20 pass attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown. Yates, who was sacked twice by the Bengals, will be facing a Ravens front seven that will be looking to put pressure on the rookie, Kevin Cowherd of The Baltimore Sun reports.

"Nobody knows (if) you're going to keep your composure, especially when you got dogs running after you without leashes," Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said on Wednesday. "And that's the biggest thing about this defense. Our front seven's gonna go.

"I'm not sitting here saying that quarterback isn't ready. But at the end of the day, when you got somebody on your tail, you ain't thinking straight."

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Houston Out To Prove Experts Wrong

The Houston Texans will look for its second NFL Playoffs victory when they visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The franchise's first-ever playoff victory came just last week when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens, one of the best defensive teams over the last decade, will be well rested having had a bye last weekend. The layoff doesn't appear to be affecting the experts' picks for this game. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco goes with a 23-17 Ravens victory.

More: Texans Out For First Victory Over Ravens | NFL Playoff Power Rankings

As Prisco points out, the Ravens defeated the Texans earlier in the season, 29-14, back when Matt Schaub was the starter. But injury to Schaub and Matt Leinart has forced rookie T.J. Yates into action. While he has been able to lead the Texans to a playoff victory, Yates will need to deal with the adverse affects of his first road playoff game.

The rest of the CBS panel also agrees with Prisco about the Ravens winning on a straight pick'em, but Prisco and Dave Richard don't believe the Ravens will cover the 7.5 points spread.

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Texans Vs. Ravens: Andre Johnson Expected To Be At Full Strength

The Houston Texans will be heading to Maryland to take on the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs. The Texans will be looking to avenge an early season loss to the Ravens, but it was a loss where the Texans were missing their best player in wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson dealt with a hamstring injury for much of the season, but by all accounts he's feeling no ill-effects from last weeks victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Against the Bengals, Johnson was targeted nine times and hauled in five catches for 90 yards including a 40-yard touchdown catch.

According to Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com, Johnson showed no ill-effects in his second game back from the injury.

Johnson being fully healthy will be a big key for the Texans if they want to upset the Ravens and pick up their second playoff victory in franchise history.

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Baltimore Favored By Touchdown

The Houston Texans continue their first playoff run in franchise history when they visit the Baltimore Ravens this weekend. The odds are certainly not working on their favor, however.

SB Nation's partner OddShark has the Ravens as a seven-point favorite heading into the game.

After capturing the AFC South title with a 10-6 regular season, Houston made its inaugural playoff appearance last Saturday against visiting Cincinnati and used an outstanding defensive effort coupled with a solid running from Arian Foster to notch a 31-10 victory.

Houston should have the tables turned on it this weekend as it visits Baltimore for the second time this season. The Texans made the trip to M&T Bank Stadium back on Oct. 16 and were dealt a 29-14 loss. The Ravens' third-ranked defense limited the Texans to a season low in points and total yards (293), with Foster notching just 49 yards on the ground.

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on theTexans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs: Run Defense Is Key In Texans Vs. Ravens Game

The Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens will meet on Sunday in their AFC divisional round matchup and one of the keys, as it always is against the Texans, is stopping the run. The Texans run the ball more than any other team in the league and sit second in rushing yards. You can't disguise what you're going to do too much with numbers like that.

The Ravens, as they often are, ranked in the top three this year in rushing defense. That's the matchup to watch in this game and if the past is any indication the Ravens may have the edge. Earlier in the year the Ravens beat the Texans, 29-14, and in that game the Texans rushing attack couldn't do much of any thing and Arian Foster had 15 carries for just 49 yards.

Harbaugh said on Wednesday that it's not an easy rushing attack to stop. Via CBS Sports:

"You have to stay square and maintain gap control and control the blocker," Harbaugh said.

This is one of those situations where you really have to stick to your assignment. The Broncos used to run a similar scheme back in the Mike Shanahan days and it's incredibly effective when run right. The Texans, as you've seen this year, often run it right. (And it doesn't hurt to run the ball well on the road and keep the crowd out of it.)

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on theTexans check out Battle Red Blog. Here's a look at the complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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Texans Vs. Ravens, NFL Playoffs 2012: Ravens Have Never Lost To Texans

Last Saturday, the Houston Texans appeared in, hosted and won the first playoff game in the franchise's ninth season of existence. On Sunday, they can cross another item off their bucket list: Beat the Baltimore Ravens.

In five meetings over the last nine seasons, the Texans are 0-5 against the Ravens, who extended the streak to five with a 29-14 win on October 16 in Baltimore that was powered by 161 total yards of offense from Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice.

The two franchises have played three games against one another under current head coaches Gary Kubiak (Texans) and John Harbaugh (Ravens). In those games, the Ravens are averaging 34.7 points per game to the Texans' 18.3 points per game average. Perhaps that explains why the opening line of Ravens -7 has increased this week.

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs: Owen Daniels' Injury Won't Keep Him Out Of Texans-Ravens Game

Owen Daniels does have a hurt hand. But that doesn't mean he'll be kept of the the Houston Texans' AFC Division playoff game against Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Head coach Gary Kubiak made it pretty clear that his tight end will play (via Battle Red Blog).

"Owen does have a hand issue. First off, it’s not going to keep him from playing. He’s fine. He’ll be back on the practice field when we get started on Wednesday. That’s nothing that’s going to hold him back. Still kind of in an evaluation process, but he went back in the game and he will be ready to go. It’s not an issue from that standpoint."

The Texans could clearly use Daniels. He leads the team in both receptions (84) and receiving yards (677) and is his three receiving touchdowns are tied for the second most on the team. The Texans are clearly a bit lacking on receiving threats and T.J. Yates, while effective, isn't exactly lighting the world on fire either.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Texas Vs Ravens: Joe Flacco Not Concerned With Proving Critics Wrong

In his first three seasons as the starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco has started seven playoff games. While the team is 4-3 in those games -- all of which have been on the road -- Flacco has produced mixed results.

In his first five playoff games, Flacco completed less than 50 percent of his pass attempts for 660 yards with one touchdown and six interceptions. Thanks to a solid defense and run-oriented offense, the Ravens won three of those playoff games, even advancing to the 2008 AFC Championship Game. Flacco responded to his critics in 2010, opening the post-season with a 25-of-34 for 265 yards and a pair of touchdowns performance against the AFC West Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Flacco was less impressive the following week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, passing for just 125 yards with a touchdown and an interception and raising more questions about his post-season performance. The fourth-year quarterback from Delaware is not focused on proving himself to his critics, writes Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun.

"It’s our job – it’s my job as a quarterback – to take it one game at a time, and like I said, put our team in the best chance to win a game, or give us the ball with a chance to win the game at the end of the game," he said. "And I think that’s all I can do every week, is come in here and do that and play my best. I think when it’s all said and done, yeah, playoffs are a big part of what makes great players, but if we were to think of what would happen if we lose, what would happen if we won, then it would make me [and] it would make our team go out there and play more tentative because we would be thinking about the results, the fallout of what could possibly happen. And we don’t need to be thinking about that. We need to be thinking on the task ahead, and that’s winning the football game."

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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AFC Divisional Playoffs, Texans Vs. Ravens: Houston Looks Win The Rematch

The Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens will meet on Sunday in the AFC Divisional Round of the 2012 NFL playoffs. The two teams are familiar with each other however, as they've matched up previously already this season. In the first match up, the Ravens were able to take out the Texans 29-14 and limit running back Arian Foster to just 43 yards on the ground. The Texans also had Matt Schaub at quarterback in the game, whereas they'll have rookie T.J. Yates under center.

The Ravens defense held the Texans to just a touchdown in each half and it was enough to give their offense more than enough chances to put points on the board. The Texans defense were able to hold them in check for the first half, but the Ravens poured on 15 points in the second half in the victory. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for over 300 yards, but he didn't throw for a touchdown and was picked off.

Houston looks to get revenge in the rematch and they will try to do it on the road once again. The Ravens however are 8-0 in M&T Bank Stadium this season, so it won't be easy.

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 complete2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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Texans Vs. Ravens 2012: Big Plays Were Crucial For Baltimore In Week 6 Win

While the Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 29-14 in Week 6 of the regular season, the game was much closer than what the final score would indicate.

After Houston got a 14-13 lead midway through the third quarter on a 36-yard TD pass from Matt Schaub to Jacoby Jones, Baltimore's offense took control, setting up two consecutive field goals with 50+ yard passing plays to Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin.

Of Joe Flacco's 305 yards passing in the game, over a third (107) came on those two third-quarter bombs.

Now, in a rematch of two of the NFL's top-rated defenses, with the Texans ranking 4rth in the league in rush yardage allowed and 3rd in pass yardage allowed and the Ravens ranking 2nd in rush yardage allowed and 4rth in pass yardage allowed, big plays in the passing game might once again be crucial.

And while Houston will be without Schaub, they will have All-Pro WR Andre Johnson, who missed the first game with a hamstring injury.

In their 31-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round, Johnson caught a 40-yard TD pass from T.J. Yates after beating Pacman Jones on a double move.

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NFL Playoff Schedule: Saints, 49ers And Texans, Ravens Meet In Divisional Round

The first day of the 2012 NFL playoffs are in the books, seeing both the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans advance to the divisional round. The Houston Texans will travel to play the Baltimore Ravens. The game will take place at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, January 15. The Ravens are the No. 2 seed and will be the home team. The Texans are the No. 3 seed after winning the AFC South. The Texans will bring a rookie quarterback to take on one of the most aggressive and best defenses in the entire NFL.

In the NFC, the Saints will travel to San Francisco to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and will the home team. The Saints on the other hand are the No. 3 seed after winning the NFC South. The Saints and the 49ers will face off at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, January 14. The game will match up arguably the best offense in the NFL against one of the best defenses in the NFL.

For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown and for more on the Texans check out Battle Red Blog. For more on the Saints and their trip to the playoffs, check out SB Nation's Canal Street Chronicles. For more on the Lions and their first playoff appearance in over a decade visit Pride of Detroit. Here's a look at the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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2012 NFL Playoffs: Printable Bracket Updated After Houston Texans Advance

We now know one of next weekend's NFL playoff matchups after the Houston Texans put away the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday afternoon, 31-10. With the win, the No. 3 seed Texans already know their fate, and will face the Baltimore Ravens for the right to play for the AFC Championship. The Ravens, as the No. 2 seed, held a first-round bye, and were set to face the highest-seeded team to emerge from the wildcard matchups.

As noted earlier, the Ravens and Texans will meet in Baltimore at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. The game is set to be broadcast live on CBS. The other AFC team with a bye this week, the New England Patriots, will face either the Denver Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers. Those two teams face off on Sunday in the final AFC wildcard matchup of the weekend.


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The latest printable bracket update can be found here, in pdf form. It will be updated again on Saturday night, following the NFC matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions.

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.

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NFL Playoffs Schedule: Texans Will Face Ravens In Divisional Round

The Texans move onto the divisional round after beating the Bengals. Houston now travels to Baltimore where they'll play the Ravens on Sunday, January 15.

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