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Ravens Former Super Bowl Winners Talk About What It Takes

From left: OLB Kyle Van Noy, CB Ronald Darby, WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Nelson Agholor
From left: OLB Kyle Van Noy, CB Ronald Darby, WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Nelson Agholor

Kyle Van Noy won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, so he knows what a championship team looks like.

He's one of five current Ravens who have won a Super Bowl, along with wide receivers Nelson Agholor (Eagles) and Beckham Jr. (Rams); cornerback Ronald Darby (Eagles) and kicker Justin Tucker (Ravens).

All five know what it feels like to make a Super Bowl run and have shared some of their thoughts with teammates ahead of Saturday's divisional playoff game against the Texans.

Van Noy thinks the Ravens have the right stuff to go all the way, and the veteran outside linebacker doesn't think there's any secret to playing your best football in the playoffs. However, he believes Saturday's game between the Ravens and Texans will feel different than any game the Ravens have played this season, and that his teammates need to embrace that.

Because in the playoffs, the atmosphere always feels different.

"To sit here and blow that off and say that the intensity doesn't ramp up, I think they're full of you know what, and it does ramp up," Van Noy said." "It means a lot more, because it's win or go home. It's either, you move to the next round, and you're one of four teams, or you're getting a trash bag and clearing out your locker room. 

"So the intensity and urgency needs to be up there. But at the same time, we're going to continue to do what we do best, which is have fun, play our keys, read our keys and play football."

Beckham didn't feel the need to say anything special to teammates this week who had never been in a playoff game. The Ravens were the most consistent team in the NFL this season, always prepared to play with an edge. Beckham doesn't see that changing in the playoffs.

When Beckham won a Super Bowl with the Rams two seasons ago, they were the No. 4 seed and got hot at the right time. But he's in a different situation with the Ravens. They are favored to beat the Texans as the No. 1 seed playing at home, and Beckham says there's no chance the Ravens will take anything for granted on Saturday.

"Like I've been saying the whole year, I feel like everybody knows what's at stake," Beckham said. "I don't think anybody in this building takes it lightly. It's such a long journey, and you're getting towards the end. It's like you might as well reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in. 

"We're all fighting to earn the opportunity to be able to practice again for another week, and it starts with beating a very good team in the Houston Texans. They have everything rolling and clicking. It's not going to be an easy task, but I think this team is up for the challenge."

Agholor rose to the occasion during the Eagles' 41-33 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, catching nine passes for 84 yards. After signing with the Ravens this season, Agholor said he noticed quickly that this team had a championship chemistry – players who were willing to make sacrifices and impart their wisdom to younger players. 

The common goal of winning a Super Bowl this year has been made clear since the beginning, and Agholor said the entire team has bought in.

"There's a togetherness that gets it done, an unselfishness and togetherness," Agholor said. "It's everybody understanding that whatever it takes needs to be done – in all aspects, on both sides of the ball.

"We have a lot of unselfish players that truly love each other and play for each other. You truly embrace the journey. Whether you feel like you're destined or not, there's a reality to this that if you lose you go home. All you can do is live for that moment and live to prolong the life of this journey. That's why you leave it all out on that field and do every single thing in your power to get there."

Darby could be thrust into a starting role at cornerback Saturday with Marlon Humphrey (calf) ruled out. He was with the Eagles in 2017 when they had a first-round bye and went on to win a Super Bowl. Darby thought the bye was a huge benefit, and thinks the Ravens are heading into this playoff season as a team ready to take on all comers.

"I mean, the bye can be a challenge if you don't take it seriously," Darby said. "But we were practicing – hard. We're going to be ready. We've got a close bond. We all want the same thing. We're anxious to get back out there, and I think it's going to show."

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