Speaking in a calm, matter-of-fact tone, Ravens veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin replied quickly when asked what makes him think this AFC championship game rematch will be different after falling short a year ago to the New England Patriots.
"Because we'll make it different," Boldin said. "We're going to win."
This isn't anything new from Boldin. He's been resolute in his belief that the Ravens are going to march through the playoffs.
Following the Ravens' 38-35 double-overtime victory over the Denver Broncos, Boldin told The Baltimore Sun that the AFC North champions are built to go the distance.
"I'm not surprised," Boldin said. "I told you guys when we lost those three straight games that we would still win the division, that we would get to the playoffs and be a force to be reckoned with. I wasn't just saying that just to say that. I know what we have in this locker room. I know how resilient we are."
The Ravens lost the AFC title game at Gillette Stadium last year as Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore ripped the football out of Lee Evans' hands in the end zone to break up a potential game-winning touchdown pass. Then kicker Billy Cundiff flubbed a chip shot that would have sent it into overtime. Boldin is determined to avoid that kind of crushing disappointment for the second time.
The Ravens' leading receiver said the loss fueled the team's motivation throughout the offseason.
"We are really looking forward to it," Boldin said. "I think everybody in this locker room has been looking forward to it since then. We were definitely disappointed, heartbroken, all of the above. It's a feeling we took into the offseason definitely."
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