Ravens vs. Patriots: John Harbaugh believes team's leadership is one reason they've made it this far

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens head coach believes that the team's leadership, especially from Ray Lewis, is one of the main reasons they've made it to the AFC Championship game for the second year in a row.

John Harbaugh has led the Baltimore Ravens to the AFC Championship game for the second year in a row as the team's head coach. Also for the second year in a row, they're going to be facing the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Harbaugh met with members of the press on Wednesday and gave a lot of credit for the team's success to the team's leaders, especially middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

When asked about Lewis's impact on the team, Harbaugh praised Lewis, saying he's still the top linebacker in the league.

The football impact is obviously the most important thing. Our team loves to play and they love Ray and they love rallying around him. We have a lot of great leaders. There's Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. You can go right down the line, Anquan Boldin. Ray has played well and that's the most important thing. He has been playing at a high level for 17 years. He's the top linebacker in the game, right now, at this very moment.

Our guys are very focused, they've studied a lot already. We have a football team that studies football anyway. We have a lot of guys that love football. They spend a lot of time in their notebooks and a lot of time watching tape. That's one of the major reasons we're here at this point, and we need to continue that and build on it.

Lewis has already announced that he plan to retire when the Ravens' season comes to an end. He is, without question, looking to go out after winning his second Super Bowl. The Ravens will need Lewis and his leadership to help stop Tom Brady and the high-scoring Patriots offense.

The Ravens and the Patriots are set for kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST in Gillette Stadium and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

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