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AFC: What they’re saying

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 9, 2001

Cut through the emotions in the Baltimore Ravens playoff win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and some interesting numbers come forward.

Numbers that defy logic.

The Ravens had six first downs.

They had the ball less than 20 minutes.

They threw for 85 yards.

Their starting quarterback, Trent Dilfer, was 5-for-16.

And they were outgained 317-134.

"If you look at the stats, we did exactly what we needed to do offensively and defensively," Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said.

Yet, Baltimore won and Tennessee lost, because games are not won on numbers. They're won on momentum and big plays and playing to strengths.

And Sunday's game was a Ravens kind of game.

-- Patrick McManamon, Akron Beacon Journal

* * *

The Oakland Raiders talked openly about which team they wanted to play after their 27-0 rout of the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.

They wanted Baltimore.

Not because they were eager to face the Ravens' defense, which helped lift Baltimore into the AFC championship game against Oakland on Sunday with a 24-10 victory over defending conference champion Tennessee.

They wanted to play at home.

They wanted to play in front of the Silver & Black faithful who provided a colorful backdrop and an emotional boost Saturday.

They wanted to play where they have dominated since a 33-24 loss to Denver on Sept. 17, a place where they have won seven consecutive games by an average of 27.6 points.

Network Associates Coliseum ... home sweet home.

-- Darren Sabedra, San Jose Mercury News

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