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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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Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

When Eric Weddle was released by the San Diego Chargers after last season he had plenty of offers to sign with other NFL teams.

One of those teams was the New England Patriots, the team Weddle will play against on Monday Night Football this week. 

When the two-time All-Pro safety hit the open market, he said he was looking to play for a winning organization. He ended up choosing the Ravens over the Patriots because there was a more clear-cut opportunity for playing time. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin McCourty is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Although the Ravens don't have quite as many wins as the Patriots this season, Weddle clearly made a good choice. The Ravens are tied for first place in the AFC North with the Steelers and Weddle is currently the highest graded safety in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. 

The Ravens defense is playing dominant football as a whole as well. Through week 13 Baltimore ranks first in the NFL in total defense surrenduring just 296.1 yards per game. 

RELATED: Weddle consumes a gallon of ice cream after Ravens wins

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Injured guard Lewis makes surprise return to practice

Injured guard Lewis makes surprise return to practice

Ravens offensive guard Alex Lewis returned to practice on Friday, almost a month to the day after he suffered a right ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns.

Lewis’ recovery is ahead of schedule, considering coach John Harbaugh initially estimated the high ankle sprain to be a six-week injury. Even as recently as Monday, Harbaugh said Lewis was “a good ways away” from returning.

“He’s done a great job” on his rehabilitation, Harbaugh said after Friday’s workout, adding that Lewis has been at it “practically 24/7. …  To see him back out there today is a real plus. Credit to him.”

Lewis was carted off the field when the injury occurred, leading some to speculate his promising rookie season could be over.

“We’ve been in there working, trying to get treatment, trying to back out there as quick as I can,” Lewis said on Friday. “I want to be part of the fun. I want to get out there and win some games with the fellas.”

Lewis is unlikely to suit up Monday night at New England, and his role after that remains unclear; Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda has taken Lewis’ spot at left guard, in large part because it allows Yanda to play through an injured shoulder.

Lewis was the Ravens starting left guard when the season began, and then started three games at left tackle while Ronnie Stanley was injured. The Ravens went through a stretch where they started a different offensive line in eight straight games, but have now found some consistency with an offensive line group that has not included Lewis.

Yanda is likely to stay at left guard, and veteran Vladimir Ducasse has filled Yanda’s spot at right guard.

Presumably Lewis would be an option to play on the right side, although he said he not played right guard since high school.

“If that’s my calling card, then I’ll do it,” he said.

Harbaugh said given the injuries the Ravens have had up front this year, having a surplus of healthy linemen would be a nice problem to have.

“(Lewis) being added to the mix is going to be a plus,” he said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes as we go forward.”

RELATED: Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'