The AFC West champion Broncos are led, of course, by quarterback Peyton Manning. The Ravens have quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and the emotion of Ray Lewis having announced his retirement.
The Broncos defeated the Ravens 34-17 in Week 15 in the last meeting.
RAVENS: Club is 7-5 (.583) all-time on road in postseason...Have won postseason game for 5th consecutive season...Captured AFC North title for 2nd straight year...Since 2000, Bal. has 6-3 record vs. Den. (incl. postseason)...QB JOE FLACCO is 1st QB in Super Bowl era to win postseason game in each of his 1st 5 seasons. Posted 125.6 passer rating last week, highest postseason passer rating by Ravens QB in single-game. In past 3 postseason games, Flacco is 2-1 & has 6 TDs vs. 1 INT & 104 passer rating. Has 6-4 postseason record, incl. 2 AFC Championship appearances. Had career-best 3,817 passing yards in '12, 2nd-most in season by Raven. Incl. postseason, Bal. is 30-3 (.909) when Flacco has 100+ passer rating...RB RAY RICE has averaged 102.7 scrimmage yards in 3 career regular-season games vs. Den. Totaled 117 scrimmage yards last week (70 rush, 47 receiving) in WC game. Rice (1,621) reached 1,600 scrimmage yards for 4th season in row. Led AFC RBs with 61 catches in 2012. Rookie RB BERNARD PIERCE rushed for 103 yards on 13 att. (7.9 avg.) in 1st career postseason game last week...WR TORREY SMITH averages 20.3 yards per catch in 3 career postseason games (6 receptions, 122 yards). Smith had career-best in receiving yards (855) & TDs (8) in '12. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN (145) posted most receiving yards in postseason game in franchise history last week. Boldin's 145 receiving yards in 2nd-half were most in 2nd-half of postseason game since HOFer JERRY RICE (157 on 1/22/89). For career in postseason, Boldin has 35 receptions for 571 yards (16.3 avg.) with 4 TDs...TE DENNIS PITTA has TD in each of past 2 playoff games. Pitta (7) tied TODD HEAP (7 in '05) for most TD receptions by TE in franchise history this season...LB RAY LEWIS has played in 18 career postseason games (11-7, .611). Lewis had INT in only postseason meeting vs. Den. S ED REED has 8 career postseason INTs, tied for 4th-most in NFL history. S BERNARD POLLARD had team-high 98 tackles in '12...LB TERRELL SUGGS has 10 career postseason sacks, tied for 7th-most all-time. LB PAUL KRUGER had playoff-best 2.5 sacks last week...DT HALOTI NGATA registered at least 5 sacks for 3rd season in row...CB CARY WILLIAMS posted 1st career postseason INT last week...KR-WR JACOBY JONES ranked 1st in NFL with 30.7 KR avg. in '12. Tied league-high with 3 kick-return TDs (2 KO, 1 PR) this season...Club had 6 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (KR Jones, FB VONTA LEACH, DT Ngata, S Reed, RB Rice, G MARSHAL YANDA).
BRONCOS: Have 13-3 (.813) postseason record at home...Won AFC West for 12th time & 1st time in back-to-back years since 1986-1987...Have won 11 consecutive games, longest active streak in NFL. Became 6th team since 1970 to finish season with 11+ consecutive victories...Den. is 8-4 (.667) all-time in Divisional Playoff Games...QB PEYTON MANNING (5,389) has 3rd-most career postseason passing yards in NFL history. For career, Manning is 9-2 vs. Ravens (incl. 2-0 in postseason). Reached 4,000 passing yards (4,659) this season, extending his NFL record to 12 career 4,000-yard seasons. Passed for at least 3,000 yards in 14th season, surpassing HOFer DAN MARINO (13) for 2nd-most such seasons in NFL history (BRETT FAVRE, 18). Manning registered single-season franchise bests in passing yards (4,659), TD passes (37) & passer rating (105.8) this season. Manning's 37 touchdown passes and 105.8 passer rating led the AFC in 2012...RB KNOWSHON MORENO is averaging 110.8 scrimmage yards per game in past 6 starts. Moreno rushed for 115 yards on 21 carries (5.5 average) with TD in last game vs. Bal...WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS set franchise postseason record with 204 receiving yards & became 7th player in NFL history to reach 200 receiving yards in playoff game on 1/8/12 vs. Pit. In '12, Thomas (1,434) joined ROD SMITH (1,602 in 2000) & BRANDON LLOYD (1,448 in 2010) as only Broncos to reach 1,400 rec. yards in season. WR ERIC DECKER had 8 catches for 133 yards, incl. 51-yard TD reception in last game vs. Bal. Decker led AFC & ranked 2nd in NFL with 13 TD receptions & posted 1,064 receiving yards. Thomas & Decker are 1st Broncos duo to register 1,000+ receiving yards & 10+ TD catches in season...DE ELVIS DUMERVIL (11) reached 10+ sacks for 3rd time in career. LB VON MILLER (18.5) registered most sacks by Bronco in season since '82...CB CHAMP BAILEY has 2 career postseason INTs, incl. 100-yard INT-TD return on 1/14/06 vs. NE (tied for 2nd-longest return in postseason history). CB CHRIS HARRIS had 98-yard INT-return TD in last game vs. Ravens. CB TRACY PORTER has 2 career postseason INTs, incl. 74-yard INT-return TD...Club had 5 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (CB Bailey, T RYAN CLADY, DE Dumervil, QB Manning, LB Miller).