Be honest, if you didn’t have to be at work these next two days, you would already be hunkered down in the parking lot outside of Mile High tailgating for the game. Saturday, a mere 27 days since their last matchup, the Baltimore Ravens roll into town high on emotion. Ray Lewis, first team all world motivational speaker, announced his retirement before last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Although a matchup between the Broncos and Colts would have been more stimulating than Beyonce’s most recent GQ cover, the Ravens were not going to lose Ray’s last home game. With emotions running high on both sides, this will be a game discussed around the water cooler at the office for weeks.
The last game between these two squads allows some comfort for Broncos fans but a few significant differences need to be taken into account. First and foremost, Ray Lewis returns to the field for the matchup. He isn’t the playmaker he used to be but no one can get a team more pumped up for a game. Think about how excited the news of Justin Timberlake dropping a new album made you. Then, think about how excited you were when you heard his new single from the album featuring Jay-Z and Beyonce drops this Sunday. Ravens players experience the same feeling before every game. Incredible, I know.
Second, Jim Caldwell coached his first game as offensive coordinator against the Broncos replacing former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Moving from quarterback coach to offensive coordinator is a big transition and even though Caldwell has a load of coaching experience, he has never been an offensive coordinator. Since the game against the Broncos, the Ravens’ offense averaged 26.6 points per game. Caldwell has only become more comfortable with calling plays and his offensive weapons. Expect the Ravens’ offense to show up especially because Joe Flacco is in a contract year and needs the money to keep fueling his “elite quarterback” PR campaign.
Finally, home field advantage means a lot in the playoffs. Thunder CO screaming makes it near impossible for quarterbacks to audible after breaking out of the pocket, the air here leaves something to be desired (more oxygen) for those not accustomed, and we have the Mile High Magic. In addition, Von Miller has been able to practice his sack dance celebrations at his normal studio all week so you know he will be in rare form. John Fox bet General Manning a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label that Flacco would throw for more yards than him, so the offense will be moving the ball a lot. Cheers.
This story is simply too good to end. United in Orange.
Broncos 28 Ravens 17
I could really go for a cold one right about now.
*Peyton’s Glove Bonus*
Most fans notice the General has been sporting an extra piece of gear recently. Original thoughts focused on the premise that Peyton is in fact a robot. The glove is meant to cover up his bionic hand injured when he punched through a wall in rage at the training facility after Zane Beadles took the last rack of ribs. However, because all of the material needed to make the repair was being used in the sequel of Robin William’s Bicentennial Man, the training staff had to put a glove on it.
Recently, it was reported that the glove helps him grip the ball better since his injury, especially in colder weather. Go Broncos.
Connor Grant is the sports and outdoor columnist at 303 Magazine. He enjoys Mad Men, polarized Ray Bans, big mountain skiing, a good Old Fashioned, anything outside, and reading. When he isn’t rubber necking gear at REI, you can find him frequenting shows at Red Rocks, uncovering new electronic music, or discovering new tapas bars around town. Let go or be dragged. Try and keep up by following him on Twitter.