When: Saturday, Jan. 12, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Sports Authority Field
On Saturday afternoon, it is going to be cold in Denver. Game time says it will be 17 degrees for the kickoff. History says Peyton Manning doesn’t play well in the frigid weather. History also tells us that Peyton Manning used to play in a Dome, so any cold game was on the road. Now he leads the vaunted Broncos attack in the “Mile High” air.
A year ago, the Denver Broncos were in this exact spot on the road at New England. After their thrilling overtime victory over the Steelers, Tim Tebow, and the Broncos were riding a wave of momentum into the divisional playoff game. The lopsided loss led to many events that bring us to the 2013 Denver Broncos. After the season, Denver swindled Peyton Manning from the rest of the league, and they traded Tim Tebow to the lowly Jets. While Denver earned a bye with a (13-3) record, they have not surpassed what last year’s team accomplished.
Peyton Manning led the Broncos to their second consecutive division title, but they earned it in a much more spectacular fashion. After five weeks into the season, Denver was (2-3) but the toughest portion of their schedule was over. Denver responded with 11 straight wins, including a victory over Saturday’s foe, Baltimore Ravens.
Manning had slow starts in games, as well as the season. Nine out of the last 11 weeks, Denver has scored more than 30 points. Manning has averaged 281 yards passing in those games, but Peyton’s lowest passing total came against the Baltimore Ravens. He only threw for 187 yards in the lopsided victory.
Peyton Manning will be going brain for brain with another legendary competitor. Ray Lewis, who missed the regular season match up, will be playing his last game against Peyton and the Broncos on Saturday afternoon. The Broncos are second in scoring at 30.1 points per game.
Defensively, the Broncos gave up 18.1 points per game, and were ranked fourth in the NFL. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil really control the edge for the Broncos defense. Miller led the Broncos with 18.5 sacks.
They only give up 91 yards rushing per game as well. They are stout in all areas on the defensive side of the ball, and if they get out to a lead, Denver will give the Ravens offense fits.
When Joe Flacco drops back to pass, they must try to contain Anquan Boldin. However, their main concern will be limiting Ray Rice’s productivity. Rice fumbled twice in last week’s wild-card game. Therefore, he may be prone to losing the ball on the field, against the scrappy defense.
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