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Ravens' road to the AFC title game

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By Jonah Rosenblum

As Baltimore prepares to face the Patriots with a berth in Super Bowl XLVI on the line, PFW takes a look back at how the Ravens ended up in the AFC championship game by looking at their week-by-week results.

Week One
Ravens 35, Steelers 7

The Ravens romped over their division rival in Week One, riding three touchdown passes from QB Joe Flacco to victory. The defense intercepted Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger three times, and held Pittsburgh to 66 rushing yards. The Ravens shut the Steelers out for the final 40:27 of the game.

Week Two
Titans 26, Ravens 13

The Ravens followed their emphatic victory in the season opener with a flat performance in Nashville. After a back-and-forth first half, they were outscored 16-3 the rest of the way, as Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck finished with 358 yards. Flacco was sacked three times and tossed two interceptions, and RB Ray Rice had 43 rushing yards.

Week Three
Ravens 37, Rams 3

Baltimore had far more success in its second road game of the season, jumping out to a 30-0 lead just 4:31 into the second half. The Ravens began with three touchdown passes from Flacco to rookie WR Torrey Smith and followed that with three chip-shot field goals from PK Billy Cundiff. Baltimore didn't have to punt until its ninth drive of the game. Meanwhile, the Rams started the game with five consecutive punts.

Week Four
Ravens 34, Jets 17

In a defensive battle, two fumble returns and two interception returns accounted for 28 of the teams' 51 combined points. A 107-yard kickoff return by the Jets' Joe McKnight accounted for another seven, but fittingly enough, it was a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown by CB Lardarius Webb that sealed victory for Baltimore.

Week Six
Ravens, 29, Texans 14
Coming off a meager performance heading into the bye week, Ray Rice looked fresh in his return, leading all rushers with 101 yards. He helped the Ravens shut down a red-hot Texans team. Leading by two points heading into the fourth quarter, Baltimore pulled away by outscoring Houston 13-0 in the final 15 minutes.

Week Seven
Jaguars 12, Ravens 7
Playing under the lights of "Monday Night Football," the Ravens were simply pitiful. The offense floundered once again, as Rice was held to 28 yards and Flacco managed just 137 passing yards in 38 attempts, for a miserable rate of 3.6 yards per attempt. Baltimore accumulated just 146 total yards on offense, thus wasting a fine performance by its defense.

Week Eight
Ravens 30, Cardinals 27
Coming off a dud of a loss against Jacksonville, Baltimore trailed Arizona 24-6 at the half. Three Ray Rice touchdowns brought the Ravens back from the brink of disaster, and with the contest tied at 27, Flacco set up Cundiff's game-winning 25-yarder as time expired with a 36-yard pass to Smith. The defense helped out by sacking Arizona QB Kevin Kolb six times.

Week Nine
Ravens 23, Steelers 20
The Ravens' propensity for high drama continued in Pittsburgh. After Cundiff and Steelers PK Shaun Suisham traded field goals for the entire first half, Rice was the first player to reach the endzone, giving the Ravens a 16-6 lead. But the Steelers grabbed the lead with 4:59 remaining on a 25-yard pass from Roethlisberger to WR Mike Wallace. Flacco responded with a dramatic, game-winning 26-yard toss to Smith with eight seconds remaining.

Week 10
Seahawks 22, Ravens 17
Baltimore fell just short of a third consecutive comeback win, as the Seahawks rode five Steven Hauschka field goals to a 22-7 lead. The Ravens rallied with a 35-yarder from Cundiff and a Flacco 11-yard toss to TE Ed Dickson, but the Seahawks converted two third downs to drain the final 5:52 off the clock.

Week 11
Ravens 31, Bengals 24
This time it was the Ravens jumping out to a lead on an unseasonably warm day in Baltimore. Flacco's 38-yard toss to Smith gave the Ravens a 31-14 lead, Ten unanswered points in the fourth were not enough for Cincinnati, as a sack by rookie DE Pernell McPhee sealed Baltimore's win. Smith had six catches for 165 yards.

Week 12
Ravens 16, 49ers 6

In a battle of NFL elite, Baltimore scored the game's sole touchdown, as TE Dennis Pitta caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to begin the fourth quarter. The Ravens' defense was phenomenal, holding QB Alex Smith to 140 passing yards and limiting RB Frank Gore to 39 rushing yards. The Ravens' pass rush was dominant with nine sacks.

Week 13
Ravens 24, Browns 10
Baltimore won its third in a row with another dominant defensive performance, as QB Colt McCoy threw more incompletions than completiond and Peyton Hillis managed just 45 rushing yards. The team exploited the Browns' subpar run defense by running Rice often and he carried the team to victory with 204 rushing yards on 29 attempts.

Week 14
Ravens 24, Colts 10
The Ravens drew closer to a playoff berth, as their defense surrendered just 50 rushing yards to the Colts. Meanwhile, LB Terrell Suggs sacked Colts QB Dan Orlovsky three times and forced three fumbles.

Week 15
Chargers 34, Ravens 14
With their playoff berth sealed before kickoff, the Ravens didn't look like a playoff team in San Diego. Flacco tossed two interceptions, and was clearly outdone by Philip Rivers. The Chargers' quarterback completed 17-of-23 passes for 270 yards, and San Diego added three rushing TDs. Flacco was sacked five times and Baltimore had just 89 rushing yards.

Week 16
Ravens 20, Browns 14
It wasn't pretty but Baltimore jumped out to a 20-0 lead on Cleveland and never looked back. Flacco tossed two touchdown passes, despite completing just 11-of-24 passes, and the Ravens added 162 rushing yards. A late encroachment call sealed Baltimore's victory.

Week 17
Ravens 24, Bengals 16
Due to several dud performances, Baltimore had to play hard through the final week. Led by Rice touchdown runs of 70 and 51 yards, the Ravens clinched the AFC North and a first-round bye. Rice finished with 191 rushing yards, gaining eight yards per carry, Suggs recorded his 14th sack, and Baltimore sprinted off the field, helmets raised in celebration.

Divisional round
Ravens 20, Texans 13
Baltimore scored 17 unanswered points to end the first quarter, and never looked back. The Ravens intercepted rookie QB T.J. Yates three times, and held the Texans off the scoreboard in the second half. Flacco was efficient, completing 17-of-24 passes for two touchdowns. An interception and a four-and-out possession after the two-minute warning ended Houston's season.

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