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AFC Championship 2013: Upstart Ravens head back to New England for repeat of conference title game

Baltimore and New England will square off in Gillette Stadium for the AFC championship for the second consecutive year.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens like the underdog role.

They were 9.5 point underdogs on the road against Denver in the AFC Divisional game Saturday, and are nine-point underdogs again as the take on the high-powered Patriots offense.

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo's opinion of the Patriots offense aside, New England is clicking on all offensive cylinders with or without tight end Rob Gronkowski. They racked up 41 points in a savage beating of the Houston Texans, and now set their sights on a revenge showdown with the Ravens.

Baltimore topped New England 31-30 in a back-and-forth battle in Week 3, but clearly, both teams are vastly different from that early season game.

They're even more different from the wild AFC Championship game they played last year, with the Patriots pulling out a 23-20 win in Foxboro.

It's not exactly unfamiliar territory for either team. The Patriots and/or the Ravens have appeared in five of the last six AFC Championship games, including this season, with Baltimore losing in 2008 and 2011. The Patriots won in 2007, lost in 2009 and won last year.

The Ravens and Patriots kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.