AFC: Ravens (11-6) at Broncos (13-3)
Regular-season matchups don't always forecast the outcomes of playoff games. But the Broncos were so dominant in beating the Ravens 34-17 on Dec. 16 in Baltimore, it can't be ignored. The Broncos, behind a strong rushing game and impressive defense, led 31-3 entering the fourth quarter.
Time: 4:30 p.m. today TV/radio: Ch. 10; 98.7-FM
Coaches: Broncos — John Fox (21-11, 1-1 in playoffs at Denver; 94-82, 6-4 overall); Ravens — John Harbaugh (54-26, 6-4 playoffs)
Breaking it down
Ravens game-breaker: In eight career playoff games, Anquan Boldin has 35 catches for 571 yards, including 145 in last weekend's win over the Colts.
Broncos game-breaker: Sure, defensive end Von Miller has 181/2 sacks. But don't overlook his six forced fumbles; that's the kind of play that changes a game. Miller also had a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown off the Bucs' Josh Freeman.
Why the Ravens will win: Their defense is strong in the middle of the field, where the Broncos' Peyton Manning prefers to throw. With safety Ed Reed lurking deep and aging but instinctive Ray Lewis at middle linebacker, the Ravens are formidable.
Why the Broncos will win: We know Denver's offense will make plays, but its defense has been getting the job done as well. It could get the better of quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice.
Look out for: The Broncos' Eric Decker had eight receptions for 133 yards in the Week 15 win at Baltimore.
Broncos 30, Ravens 23
Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer
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