Baltimore Ravens opponent preview: Denver Broncos


The NFL regular season is finally underway following the New England Patriots 28-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, giving Baltimore Ravens fans one more thing to cheer about. On Sunday Night Football the Ravens will kick off their season at Mile High against the Denver Broncos in a rematch of the season opener 2 years ago. And boy, do I hope the outcome is a little different.

The Broncos come into this game as one of the best teams in the NFL, but what makes them tick?

Over the last 3 years the Broncos have added many valuable pieces whilst also having success with in house talent, thus boasting one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses as well as having a fierce defense.

On offense, free agent acquisitions Peyton Manning, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders have all had big impacts instantly, coupled with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno, CJ Anderson and a strong offensive line, the Broncos have been rolling to 32.7 points per game (PPG) since Manning’s arrival.

Meanwhile, on defense, Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, TJ Ward and Chris Harris Jr. have all contributed to the Broncos being one of the toughest defenses in the NFL in all departments, allowing just 79.8 rushing yards per game (2nd) and 225.4 passing yards per game (9th).

However, the end of last season and the offseason left a lot of of people questioning whether the Broncos will be the same this year, plenty asking whether the Broncos will even make the playoffs despite 3 consecutive division titles.

Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) dances next to outside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) and strong safety T.J. Ward (43) in the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest question facing the Broncos is whether Manning can be the passer he has been throughout his Broncos career. In December and January he looked his age. His already poor arm strength seemed to get worse, he didn’t seem as accurate and he was even less mobile.

This was apparently due to injury and illness, but that form does seem to have carried over into this preseason. Manning’s arm just didn’t look good. Couple that with a change in coordinator, the loss of Julius Thomas and a re-worked offensive line, the Broncos could be in trouble.

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Luckily though, the Broncos have an outstanding defense. With a front seven that includes DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller and Brandon Marshall and a secondary that includes Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and TJ Ward – who is suspended for the Ravens game – the Broncos likely won’t have to score 32 PPG to win. This is perfect for a seemingly declining Manning who will no longer be able to carry an a team for a full 16 games.

The Baltimore Ravens will certainly have a lot to consider going into this game but they certainly have the quality to reverse the outcome of the last meeting.

Next: Ravens vs. Broncos: Keys to Victory

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