This game is HUGE. If the Br..."/> This game is HUGE. If the Br..."/>

Week 8: Broncos vs Ravens Preview


Opening Thoughts
This game is HUGE. If the Broncos win, they’re 7-0 and can pad their lead even further in the AFC West.  The Ravens NEED to win to stay in contention for the AFC North and the Wild Card race.  Once they get past this game, it does get a bit easier.  But if they lose, and both the Steelers and Bengals win, they can kiss this season goodbye.  Unless both teams pull a Broncos from last season, this game will win or lose the season.  I’ve said this every game and it’s never seemed to work out, but I think the defense will be pumped up and ready to step up for this game.

Key Matchups
Broncos Pass Offense vs Ravens Defensive Backs: This has been what’s killed the team. Pass defense.  Sure, the run stoppers have had a couple bad games, but when Brett Favre carves you up like he did last week, it’s easy to put the blame on you.  The Broncos have good strong receivers and Kyle Orton has been about 9 times better than anyone would’ve expected.  It’s important to cover the short patterns and also stay away from the pass interference. (ahem ahem Frank Walker ahem)

Ravens Rush Offense vs Broncos Rush Defense: It’s pretty simple for the Ravens. Usually when they run the ball well, they throw the ball well, and score well.  This Broncos defense isn’t going to let it be that simple.  They’re 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, allowing about 80 a game and only 2 rushing touchdowns on the year.  To put that into perspective, the Ravens are allowing 91 yards a game.  Ray Rice and Co. have rushed for 749 yards this season, so about 125 a game.  If they can do that today, it may frustrate the Broncos D enough to get some points going and win this battle. Should be the game’s most important matchup.

Injury Report

OUT: None
PROBABLE: QB Joe Flacco, K Steve Hauschka, LB Tavares Gooden, LB Jarret Johnson, S Ed Reed, WR David Tyree

NOTE: Check my updates on Twitter for updates on Gaither’s status and the inactives for the game

OUT: None
PROBABLE: DT Ron Fields, S Brian Dawkins, LB/FB Spencer Larsen

I always predict the Ravens to win, and today I believe they can.  It’s gonna take a great performance but I really think they’re up to it.  17-10 Ravens with the win.