Baltimore Ravens Attempt to Leave Revenge Out of their AFC Title Rematch in New England

January 16, 2013 – 7:15 am by Eric Schmoldt

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Denver Broncos and the freezing conditions in Denver Saturday night to set up a bout with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. It’s a rematch of the same game last year, which the Patriots won 23-20 thanks to some late mishaps for the Ravens. Baltimore got back at the Patriots with a one-point victory early this season, but linebacker Dannell Ellerbe says he and his teammates have tried to approach each game as simply that — another game.

Dannell Ellerbe joined WNST in Baltimore with Glenn Clark to discuss the Baltimore Ravens’ victory in Denver Saturday, how fitting it is to be facing New England in the AFC title game again, the underdog role, facing a Patriots team without Rob Gronkowski, the Ravens’ confidence level, playing during this stretch while free agency is looming and Ray Lewis’ bionic arm.

Was there a moment Saturday where you were just like, ‘This is really cool!’?:

“No, it was too cold to even think about that. I was just out there struggling, trying to breathe and trying to fight through it. … I just took it as a regular game. We’re definitely not where we want to be at right now. We’re trying to get to the Super Bowl and I won’t really relish in a win until we get to the Super Bowl. One game away, and last year we lost in this game, so I’m not looking forward to going through this again.”

How fitting is it that it’s against the Patriots again?:

“I mean, people can make it out to be a revenge game. I know they tried that earlier this year, saying that game earlier this year was a revenge game. But if anything was a revenge game, this would be a revenge game, but it’s still another game that we have to play. No matter what the title of the game is, we still have to go out there and play Ravens football.”

On being tagged with the underdog role during this playoff run:

“I’ve been feeling like that since the beginning of the year, because they’ve always said we’re the underdog and we’re not good enough, so we’ve had that chip on our shoulder since the first game.”

Do you prefer that underdog role?:

“Man, underdog, overdog, whatever … it don’t matter what they say, man, you still have to go out there and play.”

Is it easier to face the Patriots knowing that Rob Gronkowski is out?:

“They’re loaded. It really don’t matter if Gronkowski is out there or not. They showed that last week — they still went big without him. We play against great tight ends every week. I’m not going to put him above anybody else. … You’ve just got to go out there and compete.”

How much confidence do you go into this week with following the performance in Denver?:

“Oh yeah, we’re going to have a little bit of confidence. We’re definitely not going to go out there and play timid. We’re going to go out there and fly around and play Raven defense like everybody wants to see. We feel like we’re getting better and better as the year goes on.”

On playing this run while knowing free agency is looming:

“Not really, because I have faith that everything’s going to work out in my favor and I’m going to be able to be here for a long time. Again, it’s a business … [but] I want to be here; I love Baltimore. But it’s not going to change the way I go out and play. It doesn’t matter if I play on an 0-16 team, I’m still going to go out there and try to dominate every play.”

What do you think of Ray Lewis’ bionic arm?:

“I feel like he’s playing great with it, man. He don’t like it; he hates it. He hates the movement of his arm, but whatever he needs to do to keep him right, to keep him playing and not re-injure it, I’m all for it.”

Listen to Dannell Ellerbe on WNST in Baltimore here

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