Each team has a fantastic defense. There is no denying that fact. Since it's going to be up to the offenses to beat them, I'm keeping the key players on the offensive side of the ball. Let's take a look.
Yates will certainly have to step up if he wants his team to win this one. He's inexperienced in the playoffs, giving him a bit of a disadvantage. The Ravens will look to control Arian Foster and force the Texans to pass the ball. Yates better be prepared to take the ball and finish drives off though the air. Also, Yates will need to get the ball to Andre Johnson and allow him to make plays similar to last week in Cincinnati.
Flacco and Yates are in similar situations. Flacco's going up against a good defense that will likely look to control Ray Rice. Flacco will need to move the chains and make those game-winning drives. He has playoff experience, which gives him a huge advantage over the Texans. This will likely be a defensive battle and one of the quarterbacks needs to step up and make throws.
Foster had a fantastic game last week, running for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Foster has the ability to take over a game himself, but against a defense like the Baltimore Ravens, he will have to step up his game. He will likely get a ton of carries and what he does with those opportunities may change the game completely.
Rice can do it all. He can run for chunks of yards and he can make big plays receiving out of the backfield. Rice will certainly make a big play or two and the Texans will look to limit those plays. If the Texans want to win this game, they are going to have to eliminate Ray Rice and force Joe Flacco to make mistakes.
Andre Johnson is going to have to help T.J. Yates. The Texans need the passing game to move the chains and Johnson has to step up and make some plays. Also, just the presence of Johnson takes away some heat from Arian Foster.
It's amazing how similar these teams are. Each team has an elite running back and a fantastic defense. The only difference between these two teams is the quarterbacks. Flacco is more proven than T.J. Yates. However, Yates has Andre Johnson, one of the best receivers in the NFL. Yates has to get him the ball and let him make plays. I expect a low scoring game, but we'll have to wait and see.