OWINGS MILLS, MD (CBS) – It’s amazing to think we were down here almost a year to the day getting Ravens reaction to facing the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
Well, we were back in Baltimore on Wednesday doing just that.
There is a much different vibe here than there was last week in Houston. The Texans tried to show a quiet confidence that they could go up to New England and exact revenge from their 42-14 regular season thumping in Foxboro in December.
Here at Ravens headquarters, these guys ooze confidence and for many reasons:
1. They are embracing the Ray Lewis retirement party. They love all that is Ray Lewis and would love to send him off with a trip to the Super Bowl. And, it does seem 100-percent genuine.
2. They know they can play with the Patriots. They have talked about how much they respect Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and company, but they have split their last four meetings with them. They had the infamous missed field goal last January, beat them earlier this regular season 31-30, and beat them three years ago (with many of the same players) in Gillette in an AFC Wild Card match-up. No intimidation at all and that was quickly shut down in the locker room Wednesday.
3. Baltimore’s best players — from Joe Flacco to Ray Rice to Torrey Smith to Anquan Boldin to Ray Lewis — have ALL had big games over the years against the Pats.
One story I really like down here is Arthur Jones, brother of Patriots rookie Chandler Jones. He has that same smile and passion that Chandler has with the Patriots. You can tell he’s excited to face his brother’s team once again, and said lots of family and friends will be on hand… hopefully wearing Ravens’ hats. He also said he has talked with Chandler this week, and knowing his brother, thinks Chandler will definitely play Sunday despite his ankle injury.
Anquan Boldin expressed supreme confidence when answering questions from yours truly and CSSNE’s Trenni Kusnierek, saying this AFC Championship will be different than last year’s, “cuz we’re gonna win.”
They’re a very confident bunch here in Baltimore, and it should be interesting to see how things play out Sunday night.
Tune in to the AFC Championship game at 6:30pm on Sunday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBZ-TV, or LISTEN LIVE on CBSBoston.com! Pregame coverage begins on WBZ with Patriots GameDay at 11:30am, and at 3pm on 98.5 with Patriots Preview. Following the game, tune in to three hours of coverage on the Sports Hub, and to Patriots 5th Quarter over on myTV38.