Texans at Ravens AFC Divisional Game NFL Playoffs 2012
Two teams that began the season with completely different expectations will meet in this week’s AFC Divisional Game. With one win away from reaching the 2012 Super Bowl, it’s gut-check time for these clubs, but more for one team than it is for the other.
For the Ravens, most of the criticism coming into this season has been about this team’s inability to get over the hump in the postseason. For many Ravens fans, the success of the 2011-12 season can be wrapped up fairly easily: Super Bowl or bust!
After earning the second seed by virtue of an AFC North title, the Ravens will have home-field advantage in the Divisional round following a bye week. Will this finally be the year that Joe Flacco gets the monkey off his back and proves that he is indeed one of the elite quarterbacks in this league?2012
With solid numbers and fairly decent success during the regular season, Flacco is just a couple of wins away from being a respectful signal-caller. Even if the Ravens don’t win it this year, reaching the big dance should be enough to quiet the critics… at least until next season that is.
“If you look at the teams that won, yeah you can look at the quarterbacks but that’s just because you guys, ESPN, everybody wants to pump them up as being the best quarterback that year,” Flacco said this week. “It’s really going to come down to what team is the best. I’m sure if we win, I’ll have nothing to do with why we won according to you guys.”
Luckily, AFC Divisional Game NFL Playoffs 2012 betting odds makers have Baltimore listed as the odds favorites to win this game by just over a touchdown and a point-after. In addition, experts also believe that this will be a defensive struggle, which is evidenced by the fact that the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 36 points.
For the Houston Texans, winning the division and making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history would have sufficed in many of the critics’ eyes. Especially considering all the injuries that occurred to so many key players this season, getting their first playoff victory was a bonus for Houstonians. With Peyton Manning sidelined for the entire season, the Texans seized the opportunity and finally clinched their first divisional title.
A good start was key to the Texans success, as injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart could have ruined everything this team had worked for in the early going. But with great defense, a terrific running game and unexpected solid play from third string QB, TJ Yates, Houston is in a great place at the moment. Seemingly with nothing to lose, the Texans will give the Ravens hell, knowing that win or lose, this has already been a historic season.
“We don’t care about being the underdog. I’ve been an underdog for nine seasons,” said stellar Texans wide receiver, Andrew Johnson said. “So it really doesn’t matter.”