Here’s Why The Ravens Will Beat The Broncos (Again)

Featured, Sports and Bets — September 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm by

Are you ready for some football?  Of course you are.  The Ravens begin their title defense Thursday night in Denver to kick off the 2013 season.  The party was taken on the road due to an Oriole scheduling conflict that MLB and the NFL couldn’t resolve, but that’s water under the bridge.  There is no doubt that I’m still excited as hell to have our boys in purple and black representing as champs on opening night, regardless of wherever the hell the game is played.   Denver, as we all know, is the scene of the 2OT playoff thriller that featured the Mile High Miracle and the Justin Tucker 47 yard winning field goal.

Yep, Denver fans have stewed on that all spring and summer.  In fact, a lot of Denver talk shows and sports writers have called Thursday night’s game the biggest opener in team history.  Wow.  They must really be bitter.  But the Denver fans and media aren’t approaching this game with the cautious optimism that most fans of a team that fell short of their goal would.  Nope.  Denver, and most of the national media for that matter, has convinced themselves that last season’s playoff ending was a fluke and that Ravens are coming to town only as cannon fodder for the arm of Peyton Manning.  It will be a blow-out, they believe.  The Broncos will kill the Ravens and exact their revenge on national television. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but are you as sick of hearing this bullshit as I am?  Good, because I don’t see the game that way.  In fact, I find the popular opinion in regards to this game to be quite ludicrous. I believe the opposite of the masses. I believe the Ravens will win convincingly Thursday night and here are five reasons why.

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Not Miller time in Denver.

1. Denver Isn’t As Good as They Were Last Year.

It’s incredible to me that everyone is crowning Denver the kings of the AFC.   They were the top seed in the conference last season and they failed to win a playoff game.  Sure, the pass to Jacoby was miraculous, but it wasn’t the game winner.  The Broncos had a full overtime in which they could have won the game, but they still failed to produce in crunch time.  That same Denver team is now less talented than a year ago.  Elvis left the building and is with Baltimore, Von Miller is suspended for almost half the season, and Champ Bailey is almost 40.  (It looks more and more like he won’t play Thursday night.)  Without those three players this defense looks awfully average.    The sacks are gone and now their best cover corner may miss time.  I simply don’t see Derek Wolfe, Danny Trevathan, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie playing at a high level and filling those holes.  Add to that the fact that center Dan Koppen is out for the year, and the Broncos are significantly weaker at four starting positions.  This bodes well for the Ravens.

2. The Ravens Defense Reloaded And is Now Better.

Dumervil is better than Krueger.  Daryl Smith is younger and faster than Ray Lewis.  Michael Huff is healthier, younger, and faster than an injured Ed Reed.  Add Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, and a healthy Lardarius Webb and the Ravens are better at defense than they were a year ago.  Stopping the run will again be a Baltimore priority.   Denver is already one-dimensional and the ball hasn’t been kicked off yet.  When the Ravens make a team one-dimensional, look out.  With Elvis, Sizzle, and blitz packages galore, it’ll be a quest to put Peyton on his ass.  Added speed at the linebacker position will help keep the check down and hot receivers corralled.  Peyton will still get his, but if the Ravens can keep him under or around 300 yards, it’s a win.

3.  The Ravens will Run all over the Broncos and That Will Open Things Up

Lost in all the pre game hype is the fact that Ray Rice ran for 130 yards and a touchdown in the playoff game last year.  While the Ravens O-Line isn’t quite elite, it’s good enough to plow over the average front seven in Denver.  Add a healthy Bernard Pierce into the mix and the Ravens should have plenty of success running the football.  This opens up the play-action and misdirection passing plays that the Ravens like.  It also opens up the deep game.  The Ravens made several big plays last year in the Denver playoff game. (Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones both averaged over 30 yards a catch in that game.)  Expect more of the same Thursday.

4. Joe Flaccojacoby1

Flacco is riding the greatest run in playoff history. He was the main reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl. It wasn’t Ray, it wasn’t Ed, it was Joe.  Sure, two of his favorite targets are gone, but Smith, Dallas Clark, Brandon Stokely, and Jacoby Jones can all step up- the talent and experience is there.  Throw in even more speed with Ed Dickson over the middle and Marlon Brown and Aaron Mallette on the outside, and the potential for an explosive offense is there.  Joe is ready to carry this team on his back, he’s proven that already.

 

5. Been There, Done That

The Ravens love being the bad guy and the underdog, and here they are again in those same roles.   Because it’s in Denver, all the pressure is on the Broncos.  The city feels the pressure and so does the team. Meanwhile, coming back to the scene of the crime are the Ravens, a veteran group who has won in this same environment with it all on the line.  They will be loose and will play within themselves. Coach Harbaugh will have his men ready to roll.  Mentally, there may not be a tougher team in the league.

Final Score in an “impossible environment”.

Ravens 31- Broncos 21

…..and even if we lose, that’s okay, we got the big one last year.

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