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Ravens winging it to Denver for divisional duel

DENVER – With seedings holding to form in the AFC wild-card playoffs, it will be the Ravens that make the westbound trip to Denver to face the Broncos next Saturday in the AFC divisional playoffs.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. MST at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Baltimore (11-6) defeated the Colts 24-9 on Sunday. The win extended the Ravens’ streak of years with at least one playoff win to five, matching the Patriots (2003-07) for the longest streak this century.

Most of the Ravens’ recent playoff success has been on the road. Four of their last six playoff wins came away from M&T Bank Stadium, and their only successful Super Bowl run included a pair of wins at Tennessee and Oakland in January 2001. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, the only team with a better all-time road playoff winning percentage than the Ravens is the Carolina Panthers, who are 4-2 all-time in road playoff games, including 4-1 under head coach John Fox.

Baltimore’s starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, has won four road playoff games, the second-most for an active quarterback behind the Giants’ Eli Manning.

But there’s a reason why Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has come to be known as the “Baltimore Killer,” as ex-Ravens defensive tackle Justin Bannan noted last year. Manning has won nine consecutive games against the Ravens, including playoff triumphs on Jan. 13, 2007 and Jan. 16, 2010.

The Broncos are 5-2 in home divisional playoff games after a bye week, and 6-2 overall. (The 1977 divisional-round win over Pittsburgh came one week after the regular season ended, because there were no byes at the time.) However, Manning is just 1-3 after first-round byes and Fox lost his team’s only game after a wild-card bye, a 33-13 defeat to Arizona in January 2009.

 

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