ABOUT THE RAVENS (13-6, 9-9-1 ATS): There were plenty of doubts about Joe Flacco's ability to lead a team to a championship, which is one reason he's set to hit the free-agent market. Flacco silenced even his staunchest skeptics with a stirring postseason run, throwing eight TD passes and zero interceptions in Baltimore's three victories. Along the way, he set an NFL record for most playoff road wins with six while outplaying Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on their turf. Flacco threw three second-half touchdowns to rally the Ravens to a 28-13 victory at New England in the AFC title game.
Two of the scoring passes went to Anquan Boldin, who has 16 receptions and three TDs in the three playoff wins. Speedster Torrey Smith had 10 TD receptions this season, including two long ones in the win at Denver. Ray Rice has carried the running game for his entire career, but rookie Bernard Pierce came on strong down the stretch. The Ravens' defense cannot compare to the dominant unit of the 2000 Super Bowl season but it limited the high-powered Patriots to a season-low 13 points. Lewis returned from a 10-game injury absence to make 44 tackles in the postseason as he approaches his last game.