"There's no one that's going to overlook a team like that. It would be impossible to do," Brady said. "They present a ton of challenges in all three phases of the game. You watch them yesterday, they're physical, they're tough, they can cover. They've got some of the best players in the history of the NFL at their position, in Suggs and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata. You've got phenomenal players there. We've really got our work cut out for us. We'll be excited about the challenge. We'll use the week to prepare like we always do, and really try to be at our best — hopefully be better than we were this past Saturday night."

Johnson likes underdog role

The Ravens are at least a touchdown — or more, according to some oddsmakers — underdog to the New England Patriots in Sunday's AFC championship game.

The fact that the contest will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and the Ravens are just 4-4 this season on the road is probably a factor. Also, the Ravens are just 1-6 all time against the Patriots.

All of that is just fine with outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

"We like being the underdog," he said. "We're used to it. I think we handle it better psychologically. I don't really know why, but I think we do. Should we be? I don't know. Obviously, it's their place, they're the No. 1 seed, they've earned it, they're one of the top offenses in the league, they deserve to be a top team. But I like it."

Where to, Jack and Jackie?

Jack and Jackie Harbaugh would seem to have a dilemma on their hands this Sunday: travel to Foxborough, Mass., to watch eldest son John and the Ravens meet the New England Patriots for the AFC championship at 3 p.m. EST or travel to San Francisco to watch younger son Jim and the 49ers play host to the New York Giants for the NFC crown at 6:30 p.m. EST.

John Harbaugh said he's not sure what their parents plan to do.

"I think it's pretty neat," he said during his weekly news conference Monday. "I'm proud of him, and he's proud of what we're doing, and our parents are pretty fired up. They've got a tough decision. [The 49ers are] at home, so they'll have a place to stay. So they'll probably go out there, I guess."

Asked if the parents might split the games, Harbaugh replied, "Maybe that's what they're going to do. I don't know. We'll have to see."




Baltimore Sun staff writer Matt Vensel contributed to this article.

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