Plus, the Ravens had every chance to knock off the Patriots last year and failed.
But those detractors tend to ignore that Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin have become extremely dangerous in the passing game. That the line has been effective in the playoffs and Flacco barely was bothered by Denver’s strong defense last weekend.
And that Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Ed Reed have Baltimore’s D on the upswing. Remember, 14 of Denver’s points came on special teams, and the Ravens forced three turnovers by Peyton Manning.
Then there’s the Lewis retirement factor, which can’t be underestimated.
"I think, for me personally, when he announced it, I just thought that Ray Lewis has been in the league for so many years, 17 years, and he only went to the Super Bowl once,’’ Ngata said. ‘‘I looked at it as, ‘I've never been to the Super Bowl in seven years, and times like this never come around.’
‘‘So, you definitely have to make the most out of it and work real hard to try to get there. I think every individual has worked a little bit harder just to know that we probably will never be in this situation again.’’
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