Local Football Bloggers
The Ravens have a tall task ahead of them: Defeat the No. 1 seeded Denver Broncos and avenge a brutal loss suffered at Denver’s hands a few weeks ago. The Ravens have the talent to beat anyone in the NFL, but to defeat a team like Denver, it will take a lot more than talent to get the job done.
The Ravens have been an inconsistent group in 2012. Ray Lewis hopes to steer this unit in the right direction when they travel to Denver to face the Broncos. Many analysts haven’t given this team much of a chance in this game. That’s probably because they’ll be going up against Peyton Manning, a man who they have never beat in the postseason.
Ray Lewis pointed out that the Ravens are rarely picked as favorites to win games in the postseason. And he has a point. Even against Indianapolis, many expected Baltimore to be one and done. But as Lewis has learned over the years, it’s probably a safe bet to play the game before anointing a winner.
The Ravens will face the Broncos nearly six days after an emotional victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The game itself was not as exciting as the drama that would unfold within it. Ray Lewis, a 17 year veteran, played his last game in the stadium he helped build. Though no Super Bowl has been won yet, he left the stadium a champion.
When Ray Lewis walked out of the tunnel, you knew there was no way Baltimore was going to lose. The fans were into it. The players were into it. The coaches were into it. The Ravens would not accept defeat. The defense was relentless and the offense was explosive. The Ravens beat the Colts 24-9 to set up a rematch against the Denver Broncos.
Ray Lewis will be playing his last game at M&T Bank stadium on Sunday. With everything that’s on the line, you can bet that the emotion in this game will reach an all time high. The winner moves on to the divisional round of the playoffs. And neither team has any intention of losing.
The Ravens strength and conditioning coach has had a season he wants to forget. A plethora of players have suffered nagging injuries that have cost Baltimore a multitude of games. Heading into the postseason however, the Ravens finally look as though they are getting healthy. It couldn’t come at a better time.
The Ravens have been in the Colts position before. 5 years ago, Baltimore won their first playoff game with both a rookie quarterback and head coach. This time, it’ll be up to Baltimore to stop this from happening at their expense. And it starts with slowing down Andrew Luck
The Ravens are pumped up for their playoff game against Indianapolis on Sunday. They’ll play for a chance to compete in the divisional round of the postseason. Now, they’ll play for a chance to compete with Ray Lewis for at least one more game. On Wednesday, Ray Lewis announced his plans to retire at the end of the postseason.
The NFL Playoffs are never without their story lines. In the career of an NFL player/coach, one has the opportunity to form friendships that go deeper than football. So is the case with Chuck Pagano and the Baltimore Ravens. Though the two will face off for a chance to play in the divisional round, the relationships that connect the two parties are special indeed.
You couldn’t mention the Baltimore Ravens without bringing up Ray Lewis. That’s the way it always has been. But in 2012, the change in philosophy has been dramatic. Flacco is now the face of the franchise. And without him, the Ravens don’t make it very far.
Baltimore handled their business prior to this game. They clinched the AFC North title and earned the opportunity to rest their starters in preparation for a postseason run. That is exactly what they did as marquee starters saw little to no playing time. Baltimore used this game to evaluate young talent and were pleasantly surprised with a few players.
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