1:00 ET @ M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
The Baltimore Ravens find themselves at 3-3 after coming off a bye week. They have dropped the last three games while dominating the first trio. In week 6, the Ravens had the chance to knock off the undefeated Minnesota Vikings but put it in the wrong person's hand ... well ... foot. Steven Hauschka missed a 44 yard field goal to win the game that would have put the Ravens at 4-2 and a win streak of one. Instead, it stands at 3-3 and the losing streak is at three. Since the last time the Ravens won a game - September 27th, the Baltimore Orioles won 4... and they haven't played since October 4th.
On the other hand, the Denver Broncos have not lost ... at all. They are 6-0 on the new season under head coach Josh McDaniels. And yes, Kyle Orton is quarterbacking an undefeated team and its actually not week 1 this time.
However, the Ravens statistically, have a better offense. The Ravens rank 5th in offense per game while the Broncos are 9th. But with recent struggles, the Ravens have found their defense ranked 19th overall in yards per game while the Broncos are number 2. Doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that if the Ravens want to win, their offense has to be in great form.
Elvis Dumervil vs. Baltimore Offensive Line
The Broncos defense has been lead by the play of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Elvis has recorded 23 tackles on the year (22 solo) and 10 sacks to lead the team. Applying pressure on the quarterback is what gives the Broncos' D so many opportunities.
If the Ravens want a legitimate chance at winning this game, they need to give Joe Flacco plenty of time to work in the pocket. He needs his time, that he has not had in a while, to sit in the pocket and make decisions.
Letting Dumervil or others into the pocket to rush Flacco will allow the other great defensive players on the Broncos to take over.
On a side note, Jared Gaither will be back on the line this Sunday.
Eddie Royal vs. Ravens' Special Teams
Yeah, we all saw it on Monday night as Eddie Royal made the Chargers' special teams his ****. He ran back and kick and a punt for a touchdown while recording 158 kick return yards and 77 punt return yards.
But, the good news is that the Ravens' kick return defense is 9th in the league by only allowing 21.4 yards per kick return.
Players to Watch:
Ray Rice - Running Back - Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens need a big game from Rice this week. No if, and, or buts about it. They need a big game from their offense overall and this starts with Rice.
Rice needs to disrupt the good Broncos defense. He leads the team in receiving and rushing yards and is the center part of the offense.
You could see it in the game against the Vikings. Once he got going, the entire team got going. He was the spark to every scoring drive the Ravens had.
Brandon Marshall - Wide Receiver - Denver Broncos
The Broncos' offense is basically one man - Brandon Marshall. He is a magician with the ball and is one of the best receivers in the game today. Good news for the Broncos is that the Ravens' secondary sucks (thats like an inside scoop right there. No one else knows that).
Marshall should have a field day much like Percy Harvin had for the Vikings. Marshall is like Harvin ... but better. A lot better.
I have caught flack for predicting the Ravens to win every game so far this season. I predicted them to win over the Chiefs, Chargers, Browns, Patriots, Bengals, and Vikings. But really, who can blame me? The Ravens were close to, if not, the better team every single time. I firmly believe that given 10 games against any of those teams, the Ravens win 8 out of every 10 times. This time is no different. I feel the Ravens are in must win mode as they look to not lose 4 straight. They will snap the streak at home as the Broncos get their first loss. Brandon Marshall has a big day, but so does Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. Ravens win 38-35.