BALTIMORE - OCTOBER 11: Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens meditates on the bench before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Bengals defeated the Ravens 17-14. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
8 a.m. ET: Ray Lewis strutted his stuff all over the field for his last hoorah in Baltimore last weekend, but he won’t receive the same warm reception up in Denver.
The Ravens are coming off an easy 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts in wild card weekend, but they’ll have a much tougher test with Peyton Manning and the No. 1 seed Broncos awaiting them this weekend.
Manning feasted on the Ravens’ defense on the teams’ first meeting a little less than a month ago, completing 17 of 28 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in the 34-17 Broncos’ win. This time, though, Lewis is healthy and he’ll be joining fellow linebacker Terrell Suggs looking to slow down Manning and a potent Broncos offense.
If the Ravens are going to make another trip to the AFC Championship Game, Joe Flacco will need to play better, though. Anquan Boldin bailed out Flacco numerous times last week, and the veteran quarterback will need a much better performance for the Ravens to be successful again this week.
There are plenty of storylines heading into this AFC Divisional showdown, but Lewis and Manning are clearly the most dominating. So, it will be interesting to see which of these two future Hall of Famers is able to pull out the victory for his team.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m., but we’ll have all your information, news and analysis right here in the NESN.com live blog. So, keep it locked here before, during and after the game.
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