FOXBORO -- The Baltimore Ravens came to Gillette Stadium for redemption on Sunday.
And they got it in a 28-13 win over the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
It was redemption for the AFC title game last year that ended with New England going to the Super Bowl. One year later, the tables have turned. And that redemption was something the Ravens prided themselves on following the game.
"Last year we ran our course," said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. "And it wasnt one play. It wasnt no dropped pass, it wasnt no one field goal, it was about a team that came in. And we came back and we were faced with adversity early this season. The injuries, starting with Sizzle Terrell Suggs the first time me, Ed Reed and Sizzle actually played together was against the Colts. So the up-and-down roller coaster that went through was just an example or just everything that we had to go through. Starting with last years loss here and then rebuilding as a team and coming in and having one of the best training camps ever, I can say, just because everyone believed in each other.
"Its just so special, its special to be here right now. Honestly, I just said that God doesnt make mistakes, man," added Lewis. "There was no way that he was going to bring us back here twice to feel the same feeling. He had a real plan for us the whole year. And thats one thing that I really congratulate my team by, that we stuck to the course, no matter what happened throughout the year. It was always, Next man up. And our locker room, its contagious. Its contagious with a certain respect that we have for each other, coaches all the way down to trainers. Its a great environment to be around. Thats probably the biggest thing I got out of telling them is, were back, were back. But this time were on our way to the Super Bowl."
Last year, the Ravens had to walk off the field covered in Patriots-colored confetti. They didn't want to see that confetti this year. And they didn't.
The loss last year weighed on the Ravens' minds, said wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who caught two touchdown passes on Sunday.
"We came here last year and left with a bitter taste in our mouth, we felt like this team the Patriots took something away from us," Boldin said. "And we wanted to come back and make that right. It wouldve been great to do it in front of our fans in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium, but we thought the proper way was to come back here and to win at Foxboro. And we were able to do that."
Said Ravens offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie: We didnt want to leave here the same way we did last year, seeing the confetti drop on them and their dancing, I mean, that hurt. There was no way we could go and repeat that same thing again. We knew it was in our hands, we just had to go out and execute the plays and make something happen.