Sunday's victor will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
"They've been pretty consistent about stating their intentions all year, which is to be world champs," Tomlin said. "I think we've been pretty consistent about stating ours. So you know where that's going to lead us. That's two trains on a track."
But it doesn't look like there will be any fireworks between the coaches before the game. Ryan already has been deferential toward Tomlin after declaring last week's game was about him and Bill Belichick. Tomlin returned the favor.
"I love Rex," Tomlin said. "Rex has a lot of fun with you guys [in the media], but when you see past all of those things, man, this is a great football coach. He has the pulse of his football team. He does a great job of motivating them. He's very sound schematically in all three phases, and his glass is always half full."