The spark brought by the playoff return of inside linebacker Ray Lewis from a torn triceps and Baltimore’s quest to get him to a Super Bowl before his impending retirement has helped the Ravens reach their third AFC title game in five seasons. The Ravens lost in last season’s conference championship when Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal in the waning seconds. The Ravens should feel more confident in Tucker, who has made 32 of 35 attempts in his rookie season. Flacco outplayed Brady in last year’s matchup, which may provide further motivation for the latter entering this contest. Brady will be without one of his favorite receiving targets as tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his left forearm again vs. Houston. He is out for the season. The Patriots are a much better running team now than when facing Baltimore in Week 3. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen both scored against Houston. The status of fellow running back Danny Woodhead is in question after he injured his thumb Sunday. —Alex Marvez
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