Although cameras will attempt to capture every move by
"Pretty much every game is decided in the trenches, and then by guys making plays," Ravens coach
Despite rising scores and a quicker pace, football always comes back to the primordial, hard-nosed roots of blocking and tackling.
In the AFC divisional round, the Ravens were much more physical than the
Offensively, the Ravens outrushed Denver with old-fashioned double-team blocks, punctuated by a timely pull-and-lead block by
"I think it's huge on both sides, our offensive line and defensive line against theirs," Ravens defensive tackle
Finding a way to block Ngata is high on the Patriots' list of priorities.
Powerful and fast for his size at 6 feet 4, 340 pounds, Ngata has five sacks and is regarded as one of the most dominant interior linemen in the game.
"Ngata is everything that is advertised," Patriots center
In Week 3, when the Ravens came away with a 31-30 win at M&T Bank Stadium, the Patriots failed to contain Ngata.
He recorded a season-high nine tackles, including seven solos, and split a sack.
"Haloti, he's a very good player," Patriots left guard
That's easier said than done, though.
Ngata isn't the only massive player on the Ravens' defensive line.
Between Ngata, nose guards
"Their defense in anchored by those big guys up front," Wendell said. "They have Ngata and Cody and then behind them you have
Jones, whose younger brother, Chandler Jones, is a starting rookie defensive end for the Patriots, had a career-high 4 1/2 sacks in the regular season.
"We respect them and they respect us," Arthur Jones said. "We know what we're going to get, and it is going to be a battle, man on man and mano-a-mano."
Mankins has faced Ngata many times with mixed results. In his eighth
"He's a great player that has been playing a long time," Ngata said. "We've had a lot of battles, and he's a solid offensive lineman. I've always said he's probably one of the better offensive linemen in the league."
The Ravens' reconfigured offensive line has allowed just two sacks in the first two playoff games.
"From just watching film, they look pretty good," Patriots linebacker
The Ravens offensive line has its work cut out for them. They're bracing for the matchup with Patriots nose guard
Wilfork, who had 59 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles during the regular season, is almost impossible to budge inside, using his stocky build to overwhelm blockers.
"That low center of gravity, Vince is not the tallest of guys," Rice said. "He knows that, but he's a force in the middle. I've always loved battling, going against a guy like that, because he is going to give it everything he has."
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Wilfork also recovered four fumbles this season.
"Vince is Vince," Yanda said. "He's a great player. He disrupts a lot of offenses. He's a force in there. We will have to have him blocked and get after him and contain him. It starts with him up front for us, creating problems.
"He's a real big guy, but he also has quickness and a lot of power. He's not just a guy that we will be able to cover up. He has a lot of lateral quickness, which makes him good."
Wilfork sounded hazy on the details of how he disrupted the Ravens' offense last season in the AFC title game, when he pushed around veteran center
"Really not too much, because it won't have anything to do with this time," Wilfork said. "I just remember winning, so hopefully I will have that same feeling."