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Ravens now “snap into action” preparing for Houston while awaiting Pittsburgh-Buffalo result

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Despite now knowing there will be no reunion with Joe Flacco or rematch of the Week 17 blowout of Miami in next weekend’s divisional round, the Ravens must wait another day to confirm their opponent.

With Sunday’s Pittsburgh-Buffalo wild-card tilt being postponed because of extreme winter weather in western New York, the Ravens won’t have a definitive answer for whom they’re facing until Monday evening, but head coach John Harbaugh indicated the coaching staff would go to work while gaining a partial picture over the weekend. That means the Ravens could begin preparing for a potential clash with the Houston Texans after they blew out Cleveland and the Dolphins lost at Kansas City on Saturday night.

The No. 1 seed Ravens will play the AFC’s lowest remaining seed in the divisional round, which would be the Texans unless the No. 7 seed Steelers upset the Bills. The third-seeded Chiefs would travel to No. 2 Buffalo if the Bills win or host the Texans if the Steelers advance.

“I think what we’ll do is we’ll look at the Saturday game, and we’ll assume that’s our opponent,” Harbaugh said Friday afternoon. “We’ll snap into action after that, and we’ll start working on that team. If it changes, then we’ll re-snap into action for the new opponent. The good thing for us is the opponent that could come into the picture on Sunday is one that we’ve played very recently. It’s helpful the way it worked out for us.”

Of course, Baltimore played the Steelers in the regular-season finale while resting quarterback Lamar Jackson and several other starters.

The Ravens hosted C.J. Stroud and Houston in Week 1, a 25-9 win for Baltimore. The 22-year-old quarterback put up respectable numbers in his NFL debut against a tough defense — going 28-for-44 for 242 yards — and has since gone on to have one of the best rookie quarterback seasons in NFL history, throwing for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions in 15 games to lead the upstart Texans to the AFC South division championship.

After shredding the Browns defense for 274 yards and three touchdowns on just 21 pass attempts on Saturday, Stroud should have Baltimore’s attention. But Harbaugh would tell you that first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans’ team left an impression even in September.

“I’ve said this before about certain teams early in the season, [but] they’re going to win a lot of football games this year,” said Harbaugh about the Texans the day after that Week 1 victory. “Mark it down. You’ll see. That’s a good, young football team.”

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