MIAMI -- Stay tuned for more ranting and Ravens.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, the mouth that roared and often times has bored, was sure the Pittsburgh Steelers were clear on this matter: The Ravens' 20-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins in an AFC wild-card game Sunday was only the beginning.
Lewis after all, had proclaimed earlier in the week that the Super Bowl was the Ravens' destiny. He was sure the Steelers had a clue what was in store next Sunday, when the two teams meet in Pittsburgh.
"They know our defense took us to the Super Bowl last season, and the whole world saw what we did tonight," Lewis said.
Well, a few people in Istanbul might have missed it, but the 72,251 at Pro Player Stadium Sunday got an eyeful. This was how the Ravens mugged their way to the Super Bowl title a year ago.
A smothering defense that allowed only 151 total yards and forced three turnovers.
A fail-safe offense that put together touchdown drives of 90 and 99 yards. They finished with 226 yards rushing and got one vital strike from quarterback and hand-off specialist Elvis Grbac.
"We made a statement to the teams we have to play, 'Pittsburgh and who else is after that,' " cornerback Duane Starks said. "We're back. We never went anywhere."
Certainly, the Steelers have heard this all before. Like before two previous games against the Ravens.
"They won one and we one won," Lewis said. "Now here we go again. They know what's coming."
The Ravens, of course, did devote a little time to a post-mortem on the Dolphins. The general feeling was, from Coach Brian Billick on down, that the Ravens had not been shown the proper respect.
"We're 11-6 and win in the playoffs and we got a lot parts of this team that are much maligned," Billick said. "Figure that one."
The wrongfully accused, according to the Ravens, were obvious to them.
The offensive line. The Ravens hunkered down for a 17-play, 90-yard drive that consumed 8 minutes, 51 seconds in first and second quarters. They ran the ball 11 of the last 12 plays, with Terry Allen scoring on a four-yard run to erase a 3-0 deficit.
The Raven defense put quarterback Trent Dilfer in a backpack and hauled him up the mountain last season. Dilfer's reward was to be the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl and lose his job.
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