Up next-- the Patriots

Up next-- the Patriots
January 13, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Next up a return to Foxboro

Well, here they go again.

The Ravens and New England are set to meet in the AFC championship game for the second straight year thanks to the Patriots' 41-28 victory over Houston Sunday in the AFC Divisional round. 

That sets up a title game match-up between Baltimore and New England next Sunday night at 6:30. Last year, the Pats hung on for a 23-20 victory over the Ravens, helped by a crucial Lee Evans drop in the end zone and an even more crucial Billy Cundiff missed field goal from 32 yards. 

But the Ravens won't be overwhelmed and/or intimidated by taking on Tom Brady and the Patriots on the road. After all, they've been there before. 

This is going to be the third time in five years that the two teams have met in a playoff game. The Ravens stunned New England, 33-14, three years ago in a playoff game before losing last year. Earlier this year, the Ravens edged out the Patriots, 31-30, on a late kick from rookie Justin Tucker. 

The Ravens are coming off of a wild 38-35 victory over Denver in double overtime this past weekend. Ray Lewis led the way with 17 tackles, and the team is very emotional in its support for Lewis, who's already announced that this is going to be his final year. The Ravens have made it very clear that they want Lewis to have one more trip to the Super Bowl. 

Their win over Denver is the kind of emotional victory that can give a team a boost. They rallied from behind four times and forced three turnovers that led to 17 points. 

There's no question that the Ravens know what's coming with New England. The two teams have played enough. There won't be too many surprises. 

This game is going to be a battle between two very good rivals. Stay tuned.