NFL divisional round predictions: Stroud and Texans will beat top seed Ravens

Houston Texans against Baltimore Ravens (Saturday, 4.30pm ET/9.30pm GMT). What the Texans should do to win: Head coach DeMeco Ryans must be proactive on defense. 

. The Ravens' most recent defeat, a 33-31 loss to Cleveland in November, serves as the pattern. Lamar Jackson has the ability to pick opponents apart over time. But the Browns blitzed him 33.3% of the time on passing downs, forcing him out of his comfort zone.

Cleveland put him into the only game this season where he threw multiple interceptions, and he completed only 56.5% of his attempts. Houston needs to increase their current blitz rate of 15.4% or Jackson will take everything they throw him.  

What the Ravens should do to win: Jackson and Baltimore were the top seeded in the 2019 season... They promptly lost to the Tennessee Titans in their first playoff game.

 To avoid a repeat of the regular season, they must be equally dominant on both sides of the ball here. The Ravens' defense is coming off a week of rest and had a league-high 31 turnovers in the regular season. 

 That, combined with the fact that CJ Stroud will be in significantly colder temperatures in Baltimore than he is used to beneath Houston's retractable roof, should help keep the demons at away.

Derek Stingley Jr., Texans cornerback, is a key player. Houston allowed the fewest passing touchdowns (17) during the regular season, thanks to the trust placed in Stingley to chase the opposing team's top receiver down the field. 

 Stingley may box Zay Flowers out of the game, forcing Jackson to hang onto the ball or find checkdowns, which creates opportunities for sacks or tackles for loss.

Read more stories

‘Yellowstone’s’ Lainey Wilson launches 2024 tour after CMAs success