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Ravens: We Are A Team Of Destiny


Ray Lewis often talks of God's will.

It's what got Lewis through the pain of last year's gut-wrenching AFC championship loss. He told himself and his teammates immediately afterwards that it wasn't meant to be.

But after the Ravens' 38-35 double overtime win in Denver, Lewis and the Ravens believe more than ever that this is their year to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

"No weapon formed against us shall prosper," Lewis said. "Because now is God's will."

The way in which the Ravens came back, the way in which Joe Flacco's heave to Jacoby Jones just barely flittered over safety Rahim Moore's hand for a game-tying 70-yard touchdown.

They're signs to the Ravens.

"We are the team of destiny," running back Ray Rice said. "I'll say it again. We are a team of destiny."

This Ravens team has dealt with adversity ever since its inception in 2008 with the arrival of Head Coach John Harbaugh, quarterback Joe Flacco, Rice and others.

Baltimore has been to the playoffs five straight years and has yet to reach the Super Bowl.

It reached the AFC championship in 2008 only to stumble in the fourth quarter in Pittsburgh. Two years later, the Ravens had a 14-point lead on the Steelers in the 2010 divisional playoffs only to fumble it away down the stretch.

Then came last year's AFC championship.

On that night in New England, Lee Evans dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown pass. Then kicker Billy Cundiff missed what would have been a game-tying 32-yard field goal.

"We fought hard to get back to this point," quarterback Joe Flacco said.

"We are definitely proud of being here, and we feel like it is going to take a lot for someone to come and kick us off that field come the AFC championship game. We are going to give it our all and we know what it felt like last year. We walked off that field without that win. We know what we've put in to get back to this point. It is going to be a great game."

This season, the Ravens went through even more hardship. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a torn Achilles before the season's start. Lewis tore his triceps in Week 6. Cornerback Lardarius Webb tore his anterior cruciate ligament and many other Ravens have nursed lingering injuries.

Former owner Art Modell died before the season's start. Torrey Smith's brother died hours before the Week 3 game with the Patriots.

"We've fought through so much adversity, so many things," cornerback Cary Williams said.

"We've dealt with injuries, we've dealt with people losing family members. You feel for your brother when you're going through those things. These are the times that mark the character of a team. We just continue to be resilient and show off."

So after all that turmoil and still being able to knock off the Broncos, is this finally the year?

"To go through what we've gone through the last couple of years, we want to get over the hump," safety Ed Reed said. "The story's still being written."

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