Week 1 Preview: Ravens vs. Broncos

| September 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

ravens harborBaltimore Ravens
Denver Broncos

Sunday 4:25pm at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO

Line: Broncos -4

The Ravens kick off their season by traveling to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a battle between two teams that are expected to be Super Bowl contenders. There are questions surrounding both teams and each is breaking in a new coach in Gary Kubiak and Mark Trestman. Week 1 in the NFL is the toughest week to predict games as we know which teams are “supposed” to be good but we find out which team actually live up to the hype. A loss would not change my opinion on either team as I expect both to be good all season.

Can the Ravens go into Denver and win?
Here are my thoughts:

Ravens offense vs. Denver defense:
Another season and another new offensive coordinator for the Ravens as the Mark Trestman era starts. Joe Flacco put up great numbers under Gary Kubiak last season, but Trestman’s reputation as a “quarterback whisperer” could lead to even better numbers for Flacco this season. The Ravens will be without 1st round pick Breshad Perriman, limiting their downfield threat and ability to stretch the Broncos defense.

The Ravens offense will be good this season and the offense will need to be clicking in full capacity starting today. Protecting Flacco and running the ball is obviously the key, and I expect Forsett to have success on the ground thus keeping the Denver offense off the field. This should be a high scoring game with the Ravens scoring in the mid to high 20s.

Advantage: Ravens

Broncos offense vs. Ravens defense:
I by no means am a doctor in any capacity, but I am pretty certain that someone saying “they can’t feel their fingertips” is not a good thing, especially if the person is your starting quarterback. While I don’t think Peyton Manning will put up typical “Peyton Manning” numbers this season, I think the Denver offense will be just as formidable as previous years because of Gary Kubiak and the running game. The Broncos finally found their workhorse running back in CJ Anderson and we all know the success backs have in Kubiak’s system.

Believe it or not, the Ravens defense should make the Broncos one-dimensional and make them throw the ball. While Jimmy Smith is back, there are still issues with the secondary; however, I expect the Ravens to get pressure on Peyton Manning all game. If they can stop Anderson, they will win the game easily, but that is a lot easier said than done. The Broncos should be able to move the ball and score on the Ravens.

Advantage: Broncos

Special Teams:
Allow me to digress a bit here before giving any analysis – the 33 yard extra point is the stupidest rule change the NFL has made in many years. It’s an extra point, it’s supposed to be easy.

Anyway, this will sound repetitive but while Justin Tucker is the man, who exactly is going to field kickoffs and punts for the Ravens? That is a major issue as field position will be huge in this game. While Tucker is a sure thing, Denver has someone named McManus kicking for them? If I need a big field goal in this game I know who I would take.

Advantage: Ravens

Week 1 in the NFL is the toughest week to pick games in any sport and I have waivered back and forth on which team I think will win this. I do not think the Broncos are the juggernaut we have seen in the previous two seasons, but I honestly have no idea how good the Ravens will be. I thought the Ravens over achieved last season and I wonder how the offense will be with Trestman at the helm.

Starting off out west for the first two games certainly is not great for the Ravens and I give the slight edge to the Broncos simply because they are at home. This game could go either way and I would not be surprised at all to see the Ravens win, but ultimately I think they will come up just short.

Broncos 30, Ravens 27

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About the Author:

I have spent my entire 30 years living in Maryland and I love everything about this city. Despite the bad reputation the city has, Baltimore will always be a special place to me and I love living here. There is nothing better then Sunday afternoons at M&T Bank Stadium and summer nights at Camden Yards when the Yard is packed. You can find me all over the city so don't hesitate to share your opinion of me good or bad. Who knows, if you see me out maybe I will buy you a Natty Boh. Lets go Ravens and Lets go O's!!! Follow me on Twitter at @MRomanell.
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