This Baltimore Ravens team knows what it is facing come tomorrow afternoon's game against the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, a battle. Every game has certain matchups that are more important than others, and this game is no different.
- Baltimore Ravens front seven vs Denver Broncos O-Line - Peyton Manning is going to complete passes and put up yards, but the key for Baltimore's front seven is to beat the offensive line and apply pressure on Manning. Pressure can make him susceptible to giving the defense turnovers by way of an interception or fumble. The Ravens defense will need to force a turnover or two if they want to have a chance to win this game.
- Jim Caldwell vs Ravens fans – Luckily and unluckily for new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell Baltimore plays at home for his first game as O.C. of the Ravens. Luckily because of the ability of the Ravens offense to score points at home as they are second best in the NFL in home scoring average, but unluckily because he is going to be watched even closer by the home crowd to see what calls he is making in each situation and will be heavily critiqued.
- Ravens O-Line vs Broncos front seven – We have already touched on one front seven vs o-line matchup, but this one is perhaps even more important for Baltimore as an already struggling offensive line may be without starting right guard Marshal Yanda who is questionable with an ankle injury. Denver brings with them the fourth ranked defense in the NFL and a defense that ranks second in sacks per game averaging three per contest. Baltimore's offensive line's ability to protect Joe Flacco is going to be a huge factor in this game.
- Baltimore Ravens vs Distractions – This has been a hectic week for the Ravens and their organization as a whole, with the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, losing two straight for the first time since 2009, Ravens fans beginning to seriously doubt the team, and above all else not having clinched a playoff spot yet. Baltimore, and more specifically the offense, has a great opportunity to put up or shut up over the next three weeks.
The big question heading into the game is what kind of offense are we going to see from Caldwell and the Ravens as Jim has not called offensive plays in a game since the 1990's at Wake Forrest University, so it should definitely be interesting. Baltimore will clinch a playoff spot with a victory or a Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but a victory could still keep them with a shot at the number two seed, depending on how the New England Patriots do against the San Francisco 49'ers. If all of that was not enough to make this game interesting, it looks as though it will be raining for most of the football game tomorrow as well, so we should see a very exciting and unpredictable battle tomorrow between two of the AFC's best teams.
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