Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Ravens-Broncos: Eight notes to know
USA TODAY SportsThe Divisional round gets underway on Saturday at 4:30 ET when the Denver Broncos, the top seed in the AFC, host the Baltimore Ravens, who got past the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round.
Joe Flacco (left) leads the Ravens against Peyton Manning (right) and the Broncos.
Here are eight notes, nuggets and numbers you need to know heading into the matchup:
Final Four Repeat
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, all four remaining AFC teams reached the Divisional round last season, the first time ever the same teams were the “Final Four” in a conference in back-to-back seasons.
Ravens’ Recent Playoff Success
The Ravens have won a playoff game in each of the past five seasons, just the sixth team in NFL history to pull off that feat. In the process, Joe Flacco became the first quarterback ever to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons.
Flacco Likes the Road
Flacco is 4-4 on the road in eight playoff starts. Eli Manning (five) is the only starting quarterback with more road wins in the postseason.
Flacco led all quarterbacks last weekend with a Total QBR of 89.5, nearly double his regular-season QBR of 46.8. That was by far the largest increase in Total QBR of the eight quarterbacks who started last weekend.
Rookie Running Wild
Bernard Pierce ran for 103 yards last week, the second Ravens rookie with 100 rushing yards in a playoff game. Jamal Lewis did it twice in the 2000 playoffs, the year the Ravens won their only Super Bowl title.
Peyton Manning is making his 12th postseason appearance, tied with Brett Favre for the most in NFL history by a starting quarterback.
Manning and Broncos Going Streaking
Manning has won nine straight starts against the Ravens, including the playoffs. That’s the second-longest active winning streak by a quarterback over a particular opponent. Coincidentally, Flacco has won 10 straight against the Cleveland Browns, the only active streak longer than Manning’s over the Ravens.
The Broncos have won 11 straight games, the longest active win streak in the NFL and their longest since opening the 1998 season 13-0. They won the Super Bowl that season.
Home Field Advantage
The Broncos are 13-3 all-time at home in the playoffs, which is tied for the second-best home playoff record (minimum of five games).