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“There is a reason why we are both playing in this game. We are two of the last four teams in the NFC,” McCarthy said. “They are playing well and they wouldn’t be here if they were not, so to me, that is to be expected. I think they are playing better than when they played us and earlier in the season they had some tough defeats also. It is playoff football and they are a very good football team.”

Baltimore has been very good in each of John Harbaugh’s four seasons as coach, but this is the first time the Ravens are playing a home game after three successive wild-card appearances. The Ravens were 8-0 at home, including a 29-14 victory over Houston in October.

“If you look at wild card weekend, I don’t think that there was one home team that lost the whole weekend,” Lewis said. “When you get into that, it plays a big momentum. It’s a big momentum swing for you. It’s just hard to win on the road. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how good you are, it’s hard to win on the road.

“For us to work as hard as we did, get 12 wins, do the things we were supposed to do, and now get this home playoff game, we have positioned ourselves to be in the right place. Now we have to go finish it.”

Houston is 0-5 in meetings with Baltimore, but its first postseason game, in its 10th season, was a strong victory over Cincinnati last Saturday.

“It’s been pretty one-sided so, we’ve got to get on the board,” tackle Eric Winston said. “At the same time, you’ve got to look back on it and I don’t think a lot of that stuff is going to have a lot of bearing on this game either, though.

“So, there’s different guys, there’s a different situation and we all know from past experiences that playoffs, funny things happen in the playoffs and games turn out a lot different than they did in the regular season. So hopefully we can hold true to that.”