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NFL Playoffs Capsule-Ravens at Broncos

NFL Playoffs Capsule-Ravens at Broncos

BALTIMORE (11-6) at DENVER (13-3)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE - Broncos by 9 1/2

2012 RECORD VS. SPREAD - Baltimore 7-10; Broncos 11-5

SERIES RECORD - Ravens lead 6-4.

AP PRO32 RANKING - Ravens No. 11; Broncos No. 1.

LAST MEETING - Broncos beat Ravens 34-17 on Dec. 16, 2012

LAST WEEK - Ravens beat Colts 24-9; Broncos had bye.

RAVENS OFFENSE - OVERALL (16), RUSH (11), PASS (15)

RAVENS DEFENSE - OVERALL (17), RUSH (20), PASS (17)

BRONCOS OFFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (16), PASS (5)

BRONCOS DEFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (3), PASS (3)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Ravens won only previous playoff matchup, 21-3 in 2000, then went on to win Super Bowl. ... Ravens LB Ray Lewis, retiring after this season, his 17th, is 11-7 in playoff games. Lewis had INT in only postseason meeting against Denver. ... Ravens S Ed Reed has eight career postseason interceptions, tied for fourth most in NFL history. ... Ravens Joe Flacco is first QB in Super Bowl era to win playoff game in each of his first five seasons. He has postseason record of 6-4. ... Ravens RB Ray Rice has averaged 102.7 yards from scrimmage in three regular-season games vs. Denver. In Dec. 16 meeting, Broncos held Rice to 38 yards rushing and 3 yards receiving. ... Ravens rookie RB Bernard Pierce rushed for 103 yards on 13 attempts vs. Colts last week. ... Last week, Ravens WR Anquan Boldin had the most second-half yards receiving (145) since Jerry Rice (157) in 1989. ... Broncos are sixth team since 1970 to finish season with 11 or more straight victories. ... Broncos QB Peyton Manning ranks third on all-time list for playoff yards passing (5,389). Manning's 37 TD passes and 105.8 passer rating led the AFC. ... The four-time MVP is only 9-10 in postseason games. ... RB Knowshon Moreno rushed for 115 yards on 21 carries in regular-season game against Baltimore. ... Broncos CB Champ Bailey has two playoff interceptions, including 100-yard return vs. New England in 2006. ... Broncos WR Eric Decker had eight catches for 133 yards and 51-yard touchdown in last game vs. Ravens. Decker had 1,064 yards on 85receptions this season, with 13 TDs. Demaryius Thomas led Denver with 94 for 1,434 yards, and had 10 TDs.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Bearded look back for Weddle, and will stay if Ravens keep winning

Bearded look back for Weddle, and will stay if Ravens keep winning

For Ravens safety Eric Weddle, the beard is back.

Weddle was sporting his signature full beard on the first day of training camp, much different than the closely-trimmed look he had in March after signing with the Ravens.

As soon as Weddle cut his beard last winter, he said he regretted it. Now he has recommitted to the beard he has worn most of his nine-year NFL career.

“It’s feeling good,” Weddle said after Thursday’s practice. “I’m just letting it grow. It’s a lot more full this time around, which is nice. I haven’t been wearing a chin strap for the last three months. It’s coming in even. We’ll see where it goes. I might be sporadic and just cut it or I might let it go.”

RELATED: DAY 1 TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS

The Ravens are more interested in how Weddle plays than how he looks. But since minicamps, the three-time Pro Bowl player has been making a strong impression as the new leader of the secondary.

“He looks good back there, he does,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “It does seem seamless, with an “A”. He looks like he knows what he is doing, like he has been playing for a long time, and he is a really smart football player. I would say he is as advertised that way, and it is good for us.”

Ravens fans should be hoping Weddle’s beard is even longer by December.

“If we’re winning, it’s going to there and be full,” Weddle said.

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Five observations from Day 1 of Ravens training camp

Five observations from Day 1 of Ravens training camp

OWINGS MILLS – Here are five observations from Day 1 of Ravens’ training camp:

1. Joe Flacco didn’t look like someone who had not practiced since November.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with Flacco’s arm. Early in drills, he effortlessly floated a long pass to rookie Chris Moore on a ball that traveled at least 55 yards in the air. Secondly, Flacco moved well wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee, moving out of the pocket several times without any sign of favoring the injury. It remains to be seen if Flacco feels discomfort after several days of practice, and of course, he is not taking any hits. But this was a good first step.

“It felt really good to be out there,” Flacco said in quotes provided by the team. “I wasn’t as efficient as I’d like to be, but I felt comfortable. I just need to throw it a little better and complete some more passes.”

2. Veteran tight end Ben Watson didn’t have the greatest practice.

The usually sure-handed Watson dropped two passes early. Maybe Watson was nervous in his first practice with Flacco, or maybe he was adjusting to the pace of Flacco’s throws. But Watson will be looking to bounce back quickly, competing for playing time at tight end with Crockett Gillmore, Dennis Pitta, and Maxx Williams.

3. The starter at inside linebacker could be rookie Kamalei Correa.

While Correa is taking reps both outside and inside, the Ravens are searching for a starter at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley. If Correa wins the starting job, it means the Ravens’ top two picks, left tackle Ronnie Stanley and Correa, could be starters from Week 1.

4. Pitta looks like Pitta, running patterns and making catches.

Fans still love Pitta, and he received a huge ovation whenever he made a catch. Pitta’s attempt to come back from his second major hip injury is a feel-good story and people are rooting for him.  However, a major test for Pitta will come Saturday when the Ravens put on pads for the first time.

5. John Urschel could be the starter at left guard, but he is also taking reps at center.

Urschel is the favorite to replace Kelechi Osemele as the starting left guard. However, Urschel’s best position may be center. If anything happens to starting center Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens could shift Urschel to center and play either Ryan Jensen or rookie Alex Lewis at left guard.

RELATED: STANLEY'S ROOKIE SHOW PERFORMANCE WAS ONE FOR THE AGES

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Ronnie Stanley sings 'Ignition Remix' in chicken suit for his teammates

Ronnie Stanley sings 'Ignition Remix' in chicken suit for his teammates

OWINGS MILLS - When the Ravens drafted left tackle Ronnie Stanley, he never expected to sing in front of teammates wearing a chicken suit.

Welcome to the Ravens, and to the traditional rookie talent contest. Stanley led off this year’s draft class as the first-round pick, and apparently, he was a hit. The chicken suit was courtesy of wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who purchased it for Stanley.

Where exactly do you find a chicken suit that fits somebody 6-foot-6, 320 pounds? But Smith found one. If you are a smart rookie, you don’t say no to Steve Smith. That left Stanley with no choice but to perform wearing the suit.

Stanley chose the R. Kelly song “Ignition Remix” for his selection.

“I knew it was crowd pleaser,” Stanley said after Thursday’s practice. “I know every word to the song. That was the song I picked, so I was practicing all throughout this break that we had.”

Under the circumstances, Stanley felt he did well.

 “I actually didn’t know about the chicken suit until yesterday,” Stanley said. “I did what I had to do. I knew since I was going first, I had to set the tone. That was the first time I sang in a chicken suit.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was impressed.

“He did a great job and we had fun,” Harbaugh said. “It’s nice when your first-round pick, kind of the leader of the rookie class, is able to step up and make a statement about that. I can fit in, so to speak.”

No word on if Stanley plans to go on tour after the season.

RELATED: A FEW RAVENS RUNNING BACKS ARE DINGED UP