Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC division playoff: Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

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)

Stat pack

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.

Prediction

Broncos 30, Ravens 23

Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

Rushing yards

passing yards

total yards

Rushing yards allowed

passing yards allowed

total yards allowed

ravens

broncos

118.8 (11th)

114.5 (16th)

233.7 (15th)

283.4 (5th)

352.5 (16th)

397.9 (4th)

350.9 (17th)

290.7 (2nd)

228.1 (17th)

199.6 (3rd)

122.8 (20th)

91.1 (3rd)

Comments
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Published: 01/20/18
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Published: 01/20/18

Sunday’s NFL conference championship game previews

AFC: Jaguars at Patriots, 3, CBSLine/OU: Patriots by 7½; 46The big drama leading into this game is whether, or how much, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be slowed by his injured right hand, which kept him out of practice Thursday (see 6C for more...
Published: 01/20/18

NFL playoffs schedule

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPJaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. today TV: CBS Line/OU: Patriots by 7½; 46NFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPVikings at Eagles, 6:40 tonight TV: Fox Line/OU: Vikings by 3; 38½Super Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6:30 p...
Published: 01/20/18
NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

TAMPA — So much for needing a franchise quarterback to reach the Super Bowl.Sure, the Patriots Tom Brady is back in his seventh straight conference championship game and his 12th overall. But check out the other schlubs under center SundayIt's ...
Published: 01/19/18
Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Fifteen years ago today, cornerback Ronde Barber made what's considered the greatest play in Bucs  history, returning an interception of Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb 92-yards for a game-clinching touchdown in a 27-10 win in the NFC Championship...
Published: 01/19/18
Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, only weeks removed from a disappointing 2017 season, had a relevant but larger message for teenagers on Friday morning: Don't let small setbacks keep you from your dreams."If you have a phone, if you have a pen and pa...
Published: 01/19/18
Greatest moment in Tampa Bay sports history happened 15 years ago today

Greatest moment in Tampa Bay sports history happened 15 years ago today

Happy Friday, Tampa Bay.Fifteen years ago today, Ronde Barber intercepted Donovan McNabb to shut down Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium and send the Bucs to the Super Bowl. Times columnist Tom Jones and many others consider this the greatest moment in ...
Published: 01/19/18
Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones look back at last week’s playoff games to break down the upcoming conference championship games.Rick and Tom agree that New England should roll over Jacksonville but disagree on Minnesota-Philadelphi...
Published: 01/19/18
Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Bucs general manager Jason Licht told Rick Stroud that he cringed at some of the preseason expectations last season, and the outrage from some fans has been more than he expected.In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down what it a...
Published: 01/18/18