There were plenty of embarrassing moments for the Ravens during the 34-17 thrashing of a loss on Dec. 16 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Broncos running back
Between the running game getting stonewalled, the Broncos' pass rushers harassing Flacco and the defensive backs' susceptibility to double-move pass patterns, it was an ugly day.
"When we're sharp and we're on, we're great," Ravens wide receiver
Now, the Ravens have a chance at redemption against the top-seeded Broncos in an
Strategic adjustments the Ravens are expected to roll out along with multiple personnel changes could have a major impact in the outcome of this rematch.
Sidelined for the first Denver game, linebackers
"It's a different Ravens team," Dickson said. "It's a different mentality. It's going to be a battle. If they think they're just going to run away with this game, then they got another thing coming."
For the Ravens, this isn't the first time they've had to game-plan for a playoff game where they've already faced that opponent at least once during the regular season.
Last year, the Ravens beat the
During the 2010 season, the Ravens lost to the
And during coach
The presence of Pollard, Ellerbe and Lewis could make a difference considering they combined for 244 tackles during the regular season.
"It feels like it will be a different game," Ellerbe said. "We've got almost everyone back."
The Ravens will need Flacco to upgrade his ball security after his interception and fumble led to 10 points for Denver last month. Since that game, Flacco hasn't committed a turnover.
"It stuck with me for a couple minutes and then I moved on," Flacco said of his big interception against Denver. "We didn't play well enough to win the first game. Believe me, I'm the last guy that wants it to happen. I think I did a great job of rebounding from that, and I think our whole team did. That's why we are where we are right now."
The Ravens converted 1 of 12 third downs in that game as Denver built a commanding time of possession edge of 38:34 to 21:36.
And the Ravens' 11th-ranked running game was held to just 59 rushing yards on 19 carries, an average of 2.9 per carry. Only one of the Broncos' last 10 opponents has had a running back exceed 56 yards as the
Beaten at the point of attack by an athletic front seven headlined by
"Once we got down, we weren't running the ball no more and we were throwing the ball a lot," fullback
In the first game, the Ravens' wide receivers struggled against press coverage as starters
"We just need to execute on everything," Smith said. "Quick passes, whether it's your hots when they're blitzing or when you get the opportunity to take shots, just making everything count."
The Ravens finished with only 278 yards of total offense and a dozen first downs. Flacco was sacked three times, and completed just 50 percent of his throws.
"We can't become one-dimensional," offensive coordinator
Accounting for Miller and Dumervil, who have combined for 29 1/2 sacks, is a paramount responsibility for the offensive line.
"We want to get the running game going and protect Joe," Yanda said. "Those are the priorities. They're a good defense overall. It's going to be a hell of a test."
The configuration of the line has changed significantly since the first time they played Denver with
"I’ll get to know the different people, some of their strengths and weaknesses, and put together a plan to try to put our guys in position to do things well against them," Broncos defensive coordinator
Meanwhile, the Ravens' defense will need to do a much better job of containing Moreno. He ran roughshod over them in the first game, gaining 115 yards and scoring one touchdown.
"We got knocked around a little bit last time and our pad level was too high," nose guard Terrence Cody
said. "We need to come in with better technique and try to control their offensive line. We hate to give up those yards. We feel like it's disrespect when you try to run on us, but we know what to expect this time. They talked a little trash. I haven't forgotten that."
In December, cornerback
And star quarterback
Of course, the cerebral game of adjustments works both ways as Manning has had time to derive a detailed scouting report on the Ravens.
"He's a Hall of Fame quarterback, but we can't worry about what they're doing," Pollard said. "This is not about a revenge game or an individual game. It's about 11 guys going out and kicking some butt."