The Ravens will play their first game of the postseason against the same team they faced to kick off the regular season.
Week One was Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud's NFL debut and he went 28-of-44 for 242 yards while being sacked five times and losing a fumble in a 25-9 home win for the Ravens. Stroud would have much bigger days as the season went on and several Ravens players had positive things to say about what they've seen from the rookie as they prepare for Saturday's game.
Linebacker Odafe Oweh said he feels "like we matured him and he's been balling ever since" while joining safety Geno Stone in saying the Texans look like a different team. Stone noted that the Ravens "made strides as a defense" as well and linebacker Roquan Smith shared a similar view of how things have changed on both sides.
"I think they're definitely improved, but so are we when you look at it . . . The offense is definitely clicking, but we wouldn't want it any other way," Smith said, via the team's website. "We're prepared for it, and we're ready to go to war regardless of who it's against, and they're the team that's coming in here. Business is is business handled."
The defense isn't the only thing that's different for the Ravens. The Week One game was the team's first with offensive coordinator Todd Monken and they only managed to gain 268 yards while turning the ball over twice. They averaged 370 yards a week over the entire season, so there's not much resemblance to early September anywhere you look.