Ravens promising a different outcome against Denver this time
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Try as they might, the Ravens just couldn't get under the skin or into the heads of the Broncos, who were more concerned about talking up their opponents than trash-talking them.
Most of the Ravens were exceedingly complimentary of the Broncos this week, but some spent time excusing their 34-17 home loss to Denver last month with dismissals ranging from Ray Lewis and several others being out of the lineup to the Broncos' receivers pushing off too much.
Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin said after Baltimore's emotional wild-card win that the Ravens were glad to get another shot at Denver.
Asked how it will be any different than last time, he declared, “We'll make it different.”
“I wanted Denver, because they beat us,” said Boldin, who was shut out in the first meeting, a game in which the Broncos breezed to a 31-3 lead and cruised to the finish.
The Broncos shrugged it all off.
“We beat them, so of course they want to play us again,” cornerback Chris Harris said. “We're up for the challenge.”
Those were about the brashest statements that came out of the Broncos locker room all week.
Not exactly a Pacquiao-Marquez pre-fight smack down.
Fans aren't buying it, and oddsmakers have installed the top-seeded Broncos (13-3) as more than a touchdown favorite. They haven't lost in three months, are coming off a bye and playing at altitude against a team playing on a short week.
Although quarterback Joe Flacco has four road playoff wins on his resume, the Ravens were a mediocre 4-4 this season on the road, where he threw just seven of his 24 touchdown passes.
Then, there's Peyton Manning. Although he's 0-3 lifetime in cold weather in the playoffs — Saturday's high will hover around 20 degrees with some snow expected — he's beaten the Ravens (11-6) nine straight times, including twice in the playoffs.
He's been stellar with that glove on his right hand the last two weeks in preparation for the wintry weather and as a concession to the altered feel of his grip following four neck surgeries. With the glove, his completion percentage has been almost six points better and his passer rating almost 20 points higher than without it.
The Broncos aren't taking anything for granted, though. They pointed out all week that the last time they played, the Ravens were without Lewis, safety Bernard Pollard, guard Marshal Yanda, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and tight end Ed Dickson, all of whom will be available Saturday.
“So this will be a completely different game, a completely different test,” Broncos coach John Fox said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL notebook: Woodland Hills product Miles undergoes emergency surgery
- NFL notebook: Cowboys won’t rule out RB Murray
- NFL notebook: Cowboys RB Murray breaks hand, has surgery
- NFL notebook: Raiders owner plans sweeping changes to fix franchise
- NFL notebook: Cutler’s future with Bears not yet determined
- NFL notebook: Bears bench QB Cutler, turn to Clausen