Babes Breaks It Down: Ravens vs Denver

Featured, Sports and Bets — September 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm by

by Babes

The Ravens open the season by travelling to Denver Thursday night for the much hyped divisional round rematch from last year.  The mighty Peyton Manning and his trio of big name receivers look to avenge their overtime loss that cost them a shot at the Super Bowl.  The Ravens, however, look to regain the momentum they established last year by beating Denver in one of the biggest games in Ravens history.  Last year’s divisional win was the win that catapulted the Ravens toward the Super Bowl title last year.
There are a lot of things stacking up against the Ravens in this matchup.  The Ravens have to start the season on the road, something no Super Bowl champion has had to do since 2003. They also having to deal with an abnormally hostile home crowd,  a crowd that is enraged by the fact that a huge banner of Joe Flacco hangs over the side of their stadium.  As if the Denver fans needed any extra motivation for being loud Thursday night.   The Ravens are also facing a Denver team that countless NFL analysts are already anointing AFC champions.  And finally there is Vegas, who seems to think that Denver will mop the floor with the champs, because they set the opening line at 8.5 points!  Vegas is begging people to bet Baltimore.
To this and all other challenges standing in the Ravens way Thursday I say this: Fuck it.  I’m not worried one iota, and here is why.

babes ravens 3

First,  if you really look at this from a scheduling standpoint, it’s actually a benefit to the Ravens.  They have had an enormous amount of time to prepare for Denver, and the Ravens will be fresh and relatively healthy going in there.  Also, this Denver trip is the farthest west the Ravens have to travel all season.  This is a huge advantage down the road because they won’t have to deal with a long trip that traditionally puts extra stress on a team and their performance.  The farthest west they go after week one is Chicago.
Second, this line stinks and let me tell you why.  You’re trying to tell me that Oakland is only getting 9 in Indy, and the Super Bowl champs are getting just a half point less in Denver?  I’m pretty sure the Ravens are a tad better than the Raiders.  This is too many points to give a reloaded Ravens team that will be looking to hunt come Thursday night. The Ravens thrive in these underdog situations, let’s not forget how many outright victories they produced as double-digit dogs last year.
Turning to the field lets look closer at the matchup.  This is a great time to get the Broncos because they will be without their best defensive player Von Miller, who is suspended for six games.  Also cornerback Champ Bailey has been ruled out.  Tony Carter, an undrafted free agent who has started only one game in four seasons as a pro, will start in Bailey’s place.  Look for Joe Flacco to attempt to pick on Carter all day, and with no Denver pass rush to worry about, Joe should have a field day.  Denver will have to manufacture a pass rush by blitzing and scheming, which the Ravens will be ready for.  It should actually be an interesting chess match between defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell for those who love the game within the game stuff.

babes ravens1

Smith won’t have Bailey to pick on Thursday night.

On the other side of the ball lets face it, Peyton will have the advantage.  His accuracy and precision within the passing game are second to none.  Couple that with the fact that our secondary really has not had much time to gel together and the realization sets in that it could get ugly.   Also the Ravens are most likely going to travel to Denver with only four cornerbacks on the roster, an injury in the secondary could prove to be catastrophic.  Luckily Michael Huff is versatile enough to cover receivers man to man if needed.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

This guy’s pretty good.

The best way to neutralize a great passing game however, is to get a strong pass rush, and that happens to be a major strength of the Ravens.  The combination of Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Pernell McPhee, Courtney Upshaw, and John Simon will be coming after Manning from all angles Thursday night.  The pass rush, which was a bit of a liability last year, is now a major strength for the Ravens as they boast an impressive cast of pure pass rushers.  With a hand kept in Manning’s face all night he shouldn’t have time to exploit our weakness in the secondary.
As far as Denver’s running game goes, I don’t know if they should even try it Thursday, even with Art Jones and Brandon Williams out.  With the additions across the front seven, any NFL team is going to be hard pressed to move the ball on the ground against the Ravens.
I see this game being neck and neck the entire time.  The Ravens need to get off to a good start to keep the crowd in check.  It will most likely come down to the wire and I love the Ravens chances in that situation.  And remember, they are playing with house money, this is their toughest road game all year.  In all honesty they are really supposed to lose this game, but don’t tell this group that.  Bal 28 Den 27!

 

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