FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Hosting their first AFC Championship Game since the 2007 season, the Patriots honored the occasion by reintroducing their four honorary captains -- linebacker Tedy Bruschi, cornerback Ty Law, wide receiver Troy Brown and quarterback Drew Bledsoe -- to a raucous crowd.
All four honorary captains were members of both the 1996 AFC Championship and 2001 Super Bowl XXXVI squads, and were intermingled with current Patriots captains on the field for the coin toss. The Ravens lost the toss, with the Patriots choosing to defer.
Before departing the sideline, Bledsoe exchanged an embrace with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the bench.
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler performed the national anthem, wearing a retro scarf adorned with a sparkling Patriots logo. His rendition was followed by a flyover from a C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft from Westover (Mass.) Joint Air Reserve Base.