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Of course, the big question is, how long can emotion carry the Ravens?
“It’s a good point,” Harbaugh said. “But, the foundation of the game was not emotion. You can’t play a 60-minute football game on emotion. You’ve got to play this play efficiently and effectively. Emotion wears out really fast. So, we’ll carry forward. We’ll still be emotional and enthusiastic, but the fact that we played well, that’s what’s important.”
With a rested Peyton Manning and his teammates waiting for them, Saturday will be an entirely different challenge.
“We’ve got the MacBook that’s going to be under center,” Pollard said. “That dude’s a computer, man. He’s one of the best in the game. We have to get in his face all the time. We have to. All you can do is try to contain them. You’re not going to stop them.”
Possibly the biggest obstacle for the Ravens is for a veteran team to not only play on short rest, but to do it in altitude against a Broncos offense that likes to work uptempo. Will the Ravens have enough endurance?
“Oh yes, definitely, going there, it’s very hard,” said Pollard, who played in Denver several times with the Chiefs and Texans. “It was very difficult. We have to be smart and understand that [the altitude] is a problem, so we have to attack it. If that means jogging when we get there, doing something, we’ve got to. I don’t know how to tell you how to defeat that altitude, but it’s going to take some getting used to.”
If the Ravens do their part, and the Patriots take care of business, that would set up an AFC Championship game rematch from last season, when the Ravens were but a Lee Evans dropped or knocked-out pass — depending on your viewpoint — from going to the Super Bowl instead of the Patriots.
That’s for later. The Broncos are the first stop on the revenge tour for the Ravens.
“I’ve already turned my iPad in to get Denver film now,” Lewis said. “I told them, ‘We don’t have the 24-hour rule now. We have a less-than-12-hour rule,’ because we are back to work. We know who we have next week. Denver is going to be well-rested. We saw them earlier in the year, but now we get them again with all of our guys back. We are really looking forward to it.”
Just what Patriots fans want to hear.