The NFL season is upon us, and what better way to open things up than by having the Broncos host the Ravens in a rematch of the AFC Divisional round.
Denver will try to avenge the 38-35 double-OT loss that sent them home out of the playoffs, after dominating the AFC for most of the regular season.
Baltimore needed a late Hail Mary to beat the Denver Broncos on their way to a Super Bowl XLVII victory, and the bitter taste of defeat has remained with the Broncos for the entire off-season.
I present to you my BSO 2013 NFL Kickoff preview:
Ryan Clady vs Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil:
Clady will be responsible for Peyton Manning’s blindside, and he can expect a heavy dose of Terrell Suggs and ex teammate, Elvis Dumervil. Clady wanted to be paid like a premier left tackle and tonight’s matchup will be the first of many that gauge where he stands with the top left tackles in the game.
Joe Flacco vs Broncos Secondary:
With Dumervil in another uniform, and Von Miller at home doing who knows what, the Broncos will struggle to get any type of pass rush on Joe Flacco. Flacco will definitely look for Torrey Smith early after Anquan Boldin was traded to San Francisco in the off-season. Dennis Pitta is also out for the season as well. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was acquired in the off-season for nights like this, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Smith as well.
Peyton Manning, Wes Welker vs Ravens Secondary:
Ed Reed is gone. Cary Williams is getting into fights in Philly. The Ravens secondary as a whole has been retooled. With Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham or Jimmy Smith trying to chase Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker around on the outside, Wes Welker and Peyton Manning will have an early opportunity to see just how much chemistry they’ve developed since the start of training camp. Thursday night sets up the opportunity for Welker to have a monster game. Welker had eight catches for 142 yards in a September matchup with the Ravens last season, and In the playoffs, Welker caught eight more balls for 117 yards and one score in the AFC Championship game with the Patriots.
Ravens New Defense vs History:
The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl, then totally blew up their defense. Gone is Ed Reed, Danelle Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams, and the legend himself, Ray Lewis. Their will be no more pre-game speeches, as Lewis himself, declined invitation to watch the game in person. The Ravens got better in my opinion with the additions of Elvis Dumervil, Arthur Brown, Michael Huff and a healthy Terrell Suggs. This is a new day in Baltimore, and the quicker this defense adapts, the quicker they’ll return to dominating offenses.
The bottom line is that this is not a rematch of the Super Bowl. These are two different teams, meeting up on opening night, chasing the same dream. A Super Bowl.
Mile High, and the search for a new identity does Baltimore in.
Broncos 35 Ravens 24