USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos begin their Super Bowl bid against an emotional Baltimore Ravens squad on Saturday. The Broncos beat the Ravens, 34-17, in Week 15.
If past results are any indication, the Denver Broncos should have no problem with the Baltimore Ravens in their AFC Divisional playoff matchup at home on Saturday. The Broncos beat the Ravens, 34-17, in Week 15 on the road and will enter the weekend as nine-point favorites.
The Ravens were playing without Ray Lewis in that loss due to a torn triceps muscle, however. The future Hall of Fame linebacker is back patrolling the middle of the field and appears to have some extra pep in his step after announcing that he will retire after Baltimore's playoff run. He recorded 13 tackles, including for one for a loss, during the Ravens' stifling 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend.
Of course, the Broncos are the AFC's No. 1 seed for good reason. They rank second in the NFL in total defense, and fourth in total offense, led by MVP candidate Peyton Manning. They own the league's longest active winning streak with 11 straight wins. Over that span, they have scored over 30 points nine times. The Ravens are a good team, but on paper, they can't quite match Denver's dominance.
Baltimore is motivated to send Lewis out on a high note, however. If his teammates can match the linebacker's fiery spirit, expect a tight game on Saturday.
Game Time: 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Jan. 12
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.
Line: Broncos favored by 9 points