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AFC Championship Set: Patriots Will Host the Ravens

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Well, this should be a fun week.

With the Baltimore Ravens defeating the Houston Texans 20-13 at M&T Bank Stadium, the AFC Championship game is now set. At 3:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 15th, the New England Patriots will host the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

While the Houston Texans may have represented the easier path to Indianapolis, the Patriots have a lot more tape on the Ravens, and the pre-game hype for the game should be a lot of fun.

The Ravens, specifically Terrell Suggs, have taken their fair share of verbal shots at Tom Brady and the Patriots over the past few years. The Ravens and Patriots have had some really close games the last couple of years, but the bad blood is probably still in the Patriots' mouths from their 33-14 playoff loss at home in 2009.

There are going to be a lot of storylines to dissect with this game. Hopefully, there will be some fun "bulletin board" material from Baltimore. All along, Patriots fans believed the team would have to play either Baltimore or Pittsburgh to get to the Super Bowl, and now, New England will get Baltimore.

My friend, a 49ers friend, told me he wants Green Bay to beat the Giants today because he believes that in order to "be the best, you've got to beat the best." I suppose this holds true with the Patriots hosting the Ravens next Sunday. The Ravens are a tough, tough football team that will not be scared of New England, and if the Patriots find themselves in the Super Bowl, they will have earned it.