Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 1/15/12

Momentum is a mighty hammer in the playoffs. Once it swings down on you, it is awfully hard to recover. Momentum swung early for the Texans with a 60-yard return of the game-opening kickoff and a quick 3-0 lead. After that, though, it crashed down on the visiting team repeatedly, as Baltimore scored the game's next 17 points on a succession of drives fueled by turnovers.

The most egregious of those was a decision by Jacoby Jones to try to field a punt on the bounce at his own ten yard line... and failing to bring the ball in. The Ravens turned his blunder into their first seven points of the game, and sent the record-setting Baltimore crowd into a howling frenzy.

It took time for TJ Yates to settle down -- an interception on a locked-in read to Andre Johnson on the following drive gifted the Ravens with more good field position and another 3 points -- but the Texans slowly began a Herculean task of lifting the mighty weight of their own mistakes off their shoulders.

No one has done more lifting than Arian Foster, who has been finding holes inside and out for steady gains, and made an incredible one-handed snag of a hurried Yates screen pass, and scampered forward on a must-have third down in the red zone. At the game's halfway point, Foster has 124 total yards and a momentum-shifting touchdown on 19 touches. Meanwhile, his opposite number, Ray Rice, has touched the ball only 10 times for 50 yards.

While the second quarter has belonged to the Texans, they still find themselves down coming into the second half, and were unable to capitalize on the Ravens' early mistakes (two fumbles, both recovered by Baltimore). Momentum is a fickle force, but the scoreboard is in Baltimore's favor. Perhaps that's all the momentum they need to close out a win and earn a playoff rematch with the mighty Patriots.

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