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Ravens promising a different outcome against Denver this time

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divisional gameday

Ravens at Broncos

4:30 p.m. Saturday

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver

TV/radio: KDKA-2, WTRF-7, WTAJ-10/KDKA-FM (93.7), WJPA-AM (1450)

Records: Ravens 11-6, Broncos 13-3

Line: Broncos by 91⁄2

Notable: LB Ray Lewis, who didn't play in the Ravens' Week 15 game against the Broncos, and is retiring, will face QB Peyton Manning for the final time.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Try as they might, the Ravens just couldn't get under the skin or into the heads of the Broncos, who were more concerned about talking up their opponents than trash-talking them.

Most of the Ravens were exceedingly complimentary of the Broncos this week, but some spent time excusing their 34-17 home loss to Denver last month with dismissals ranging from Ray Lewis and several others being out of the lineup to the Broncos' receivers pushing off too much.

Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin said after Baltimore's emotional wild-card win that the Ravens were glad to get another shot at Denver.

Asked how it will be any different than last time, he declared, “We'll make it different.”

“I wanted Denver, because they beat us,” said Boldin, who was shut out in the first meeting, a game in which the Broncos breezed to a 31-3 lead and cruised to the finish.

The Broncos shrugged it all off.

“We beat them, so of course they want to play us again,” cornerback Chris Harris said. “We're up for the challenge.”

Those were about the brashest statements that came out of the Broncos locker room all week.

Not exactly a Pacquiao-Marquez pre-fight smack down.

Fans aren't buying it, and oddsmakers have installed the top-seeded Broncos (13-3) as more than a touchdown favorite. They haven't lost in three months, are coming off a bye and playing at altitude against a team playing on a short week.

Although quarterback Joe Flacco has four road playoff wins on his resume, the Ravens were a mediocre 4-4 this season on the road, where he threw just seven of his 24 touchdown passes.

Then, there's Peyton Manning. Although he's 0-3 lifetime in cold weather in the playoffs — Saturday's high will hover around 20 degrees with some snow expected — he's beaten the Ravens (11-6) nine straight times, including twice in the playoffs.

He's been stellar with that glove on his right hand the last two weeks in preparation for the wintry weather and as a concession to the altered feel of his grip following four neck surgeries. With the glove, his completion percentage has been almost six points better and his passer rating almost 20 points higher than without it.

The Broncos aren't taking anything for granted, though. They pointed out all week that the last time they played, the Ravens were without Lewis, safety Bernard Pollard, guard Marshal Yanda, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and tight end Ed Dickson, all of whom will be available Saturday.

“So this will be a completely different game, a completely different test,” Broncos coach John Fox said.

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