3 Things for the Ravens to win
1. Control the line of scrimmage. The Broncos have three new offensive lineman and you have Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervile and company at your disposal. Disrupt Peyton Manning’s timing and you have a very good chance of derailing the Broncos. No quarterback likes to get hit especially the great Peyton Manning, hit him early and often.
2. Get Justin Forsett touches whether it’s by ground or by air. Forsett broke out last year in former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system and he was the reason why the Ravens got into the playoffs. New coordinator Marc Trestman formally of the Chicago Bears where running back Matt Forte caught 102 passes needs to emulate that success in Baltimore and get the ball in Forsett’s hands by any means necessary. The Ravens lack playmakers on offense so getting the ball to playmaker. Forsett is key.
3. Maintain you run defense discipline. Do your job by not getting out of position against Denver’s zone blocking run scheme. The Ravens are very familiar with Denver’s new head coach and their former offensive coordinator Kubiak’s offense. Hat on a hat and make the sure tackles in the open field, one mistake by a defender and C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and company can take it to the house.
3 Things for the Broncos to Win
1. Make sure you keep an eye on Steve Smith Sr. He might be an old man at this point in his career but he sure doesn’t play like it. The Ravens, as I mentioned previously, lack playmakers and Smith is their only legitimate receiver who can beat one on one coverage. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris will have their hands full with Smith, don’t let him get inside of your head causing you to lose your focus.
2. Run the football. The Broncos have two capable backs in Anderson and Hillman who can share the load and limit the amount of times Manning needs to throw the ball. The Broncos hired Kubiak to change the philosophy on offense which had Manning throwing the ball over 600 times a season. 35+ rushing attempts total will be a good sign that the Broncos controlled the time of possession and the game.
3. Protect Manning. The Ravens defense is legit and will try to rattle Manning like they have in the past. Suggs, C.J. Mosley, and Dumerville make up the Ravens’ “Bermuda Triangle” and if not blocked can force the Broncos into many third and longs. The season ending injury to left tackle Ryan Clady forces rookie Ty Sambrailo to protect Manning’s blind side and can be a story in this ball game.
What to watch for…
Manning’s arm strength. All reports have Manning losing arm strength and he is unable to throw the ball with velocity outside the numbers. Take a look if that’s the case because if it is this might be the end of the career of the legendary Peyton Manning.
The Front Office Says…
The Denver Broncos win.