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What a Win Would Mean

Posted Dec 11, 2012

The Broncos and Ravens are jockeying for position in the 2012 postseason.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The result of Denver's game in Baltimore on Sunday carries heavy significance.

Each team is currently chasing one of the top two seeds in the AFC, which would provide a first-round bye in the playoffs.

At 10-3, the Broncos are currently the No. 3 seed behind the Houston Texans and New England Patriots.

The Ravens, who beat New England in Week 3, are currently the No. 4 seed with a 9-4 record.

The Broncos still have a shot at the No. 1 overall seed, and the Ravens could still miss out on the playoffs - so both teams have plenty to play for.

"It's a huge game," defensive tackle Justin Bannan said. "Make no mistake about it. Going into Baltimore isn't easy for anybody, so we've got to be ready to go."

Linebacker Wesley Woodyard said it hasn't changed the team's approach, but snatching a first-round bye is a goal for the team. It all starts with winning in Baltimore.

"We want to take it one week at a time but obviously we know what we're playing for," Woodyard said. "We need some things to go in our favor and we've got to take care of business and, definitely, we want that No. 2 seed. We want to get that first-round bye."

Bannan, a former Raven, knows just how tough it is to go into Baltimore and leave with a win. The Broncos know that, too. Denver has never won a road game against the Ravens, losing all five games - including the postseason -- at what is now called M&T Bank Stadium by an average of 17.2 points per game.

"There was a culture created there a long time ago with the defense," Bannan said. "You have to bring your 'A' game going into Baltimore or you're just not going to win. They've created that there. That's why it's a tough place to play."

In none of those five losses, however, did the Broncos have their current quarterback, Peyton Manning. In his experience against and in Baltimore, Manning has had much more success.

He is 7-2 in nine career games against the club, including a 4-2 mark at Baltimore that includes a road playoff win.

In fact, Bannan - who played for the Ravens from 2006-09 - said he used to call Manning "The Baltimore Killer."

"I know when I was in Baltimore, we never beat Peyton and the Colts," Bannan said. "It is nice to have No. 18 with us. We've got to win on all fronts this week."