The Broncos just thumped the Ravens 34-17 a few weeks ago. But, the Ravens looked good in beating the Colts 24-9 last weekend. Things could be a little different this weekend, but, the Ravens need to play an almost perfect game to pull an upset. Here is a look at the matchups in this game:
When the Ravens have the ball: If the Ravens are smart, they will come out running the ball with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, to try to control the clock and keep Peyton Manning and his boys on the sidelines. That will be easier said than done as the Broncos have been very solid against the run this year. Joe Flacco is good off of play action, so he needs the Ravens to run the ball somewhat well to set that up. Anquan Boldin has stepped up for the Ravens in the playoffs, so Flacco will want to go to him, but he will have to be careful if he’s matched up with CB Champ Bailey. The O-Line is going to have to step up for the Ravens, if Flacco is going to have any chance for success throwing the football as OLB Von Miller and DE Elvis Dumervil are outstanding pass rushers. It might be smart for Flacco to pass the ball more to WR Torrey Smith and TEs Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta more than usual.
When the Broncos have the ball: The Broncos like to throw the ball to get a lead and then grind out a win on the ground. The Ravens need to get a good pass rush on Peyton Manning, or it could be a long day for the Ravens’ D. Manning has big time WRs in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker……and they aren’t scared of footsteps the way some of the Colts’ WRs were last weekend. He also has WR Brandon Stokley and TEs Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme to throw to….which is going to put a lot of pressure on the Ravens’ secondary. RB Knowshon Moreno has played well lately and he will likely get around 20 carries this Saturday for the Broncos.
PREDICTION: BRONCOS 27, RAVENS 20