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Ravens-Patriots AFC championship game has started

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Ravens-Patriots AFC championship game has started

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Baltimore's Justin Tucker sent the opening kickoff out of the end zone for a touchback as the Ravens and New England Patriots began their AFC championship game.

A win on Sunday would send the Ravens (12-6) to the Super Bowl for the second time and extend the 17-year career of linebacker Ray Lewis, who has said he will retire after the season.

A victory would put the Patriots (13-4) in their eighth Super Bowl, tying the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most all time, and quarterback Tom Brady in his sixth.

It would be the Patriots' second straight appearance in the NFL title game and third in six years.

The Patriots played without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his left arm a week earlier in their 41-28 divisional win over the Houston Texans.

The winner of the game plays the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

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Ray Lewis launching bourbon brand for charity, gifting first bottles to Trump, Pence

Ray Lewis launching bourbon brand for charity, gifting first bottles to Trump, Pence

Ravens great Ray Lewis will soon have his own line of bourbons called Ray's Reserve, according to The Spirit Business. 

It won't be a profit-driven enterprise. Instead, only 100 bottles will be produced for charity.

The proceeds from their sale will go to the Time to Shine Scholaship & Internship Program for Women, which helps high-school aged women pursue educational and professional opportunities. 

However, Lewis intends to give the first two bottles away as gifts to incoming president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence. 

“I have been thoroughly impressed with president-elect Trump and his desire to help inner city kids and provide better education opportunities for women,” Lewis said.

The bourbon will go on sale starting February 15. 

MORE RAVENS: Steve Smith addresses coaching rumors

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Ravens name Joe D'Alessandris new offensive line coach

Ravens name Joe D'Alessandris new offensive line coach

Joe D’Alessandris has been named the Ravens’ new offensive line coach, the team announced Thursday. D’Allesandris was tabbed to replace Juan Castillo, who left the Ravens to become the Bills offensive line coach.

D’Alessandris has been an offensive line coach with the Chargers (2013-15), Bills (2010), and Chiefs (2008-09), and he has been a coach at the college or pro level since 1979.

“I feel very privileged and honored to come work with such a tremendous organization,” said D’Alessandris in a statement released by the team. “I very much look forward to the tremendous opportunity of working for (coach) John Harbaugh and (general manager) Ozzie Newsome on an incredible staff.”

Harbaugh said D’Alessandris had the credentials to improve the offensive line in all areas.

“We had a number of very good, qualified candidates for this position, and we have the right fit with Joe,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “He’s a hard-nosed, experienced coach, who is an excellent teacher. He’ll be able to work with our veterans to get the most out of them, and he’ll take our young linemen to higher levels.”

MORE RAVENS: Ray Lewis to Tom Brady: 'Stop Complaining'