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Texans brace for playoff rematch with Ravens

The Texans will get no break from their tough loss to the Packers with the Ravens coming to town.

The Baltimore Ravens will get no sympathy from the Houston Texans about their devastating injuries on defense.


The Texans and Ravens are 5-1 and tied for the best record in the AFC going into Sunday's game at Reliant Stadium.


The Baltimore defense will be without cornerback Lardarius Webb (torn ACL) and inside linebacker Ray Lewis (torn triceps).


The Texans know how the Ravens feel in losing such important members of the team.


When the teams met in January in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Texans played without quarterback Matt Schaub and outside linebacker Mario Williams. Houston lost 20-13.


The Texans know they'll have to play a lot better against Baltimore than they played against Green Bay. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing six touchdown passes, the Packers embarrassed the Texans 42-24.


"It was a total butt-kicking," Houston offensive tackle Duane Brown said. "It was embarrassing. Any criticism we receive because of this game, we deserve it."


It wasn't just that the Texans lost. It was how they lost. They got off to an uncharacteristic bad start and never recovered. They couldn't run, pass, cover or play efficiently on special teams.


Now they play Baltimore, a team that's 6-0 against them, including three victories over the last two seasons.


"This league's about rising up, and they present a great challenge," coach Gary Kubiak said. "They can beat you by running or passing, and they can beat you on special teams."


If the Texans beat the Ravens for the first time, they'd be 6-1 entering their bye week. They host Buffalo the week after. They have a chance to be 7-1 at the midway point of the season.


"We know we have to play really well," Kubiak said. "We know we got it handed to us by Green Bay. It's a very humbling experience. You're going to have highs and lows in this league. We just experienced our first low, and it's a big disappointment.