Ecstatic that we got the win this past sunday and that we're still playing! How lovely would it be for Ray to go out the same way that Bettis left the game (after a Superbowl title).
I still have a few concerns w/ our offense. I'm not too worried about Rice's fumbles I know that he'll clean it up.
But we had the ball for 22 minutes and we were on defense for 37 minutes. Our defense is coming together, but against Manning, if he's on the field for that long the general WILL pick us apart. That has been a major problem w/ our offense throughout the season, time of possession.
The fact that we are underdogs, playing a hot team on the ROAD, against one of the best QB's in NFL history I believe that we need to control the rock and keep the ball out of Manning's hands' to help our chances of avenging that 34-17 HOME loss.
What do you guys believe our keys to success are for this Saturday?
I'll agree with you from the standpoint that over the course of the season the offense hasn't stayed on the field long enough, but that wasn't the case against the Colts.
It was the defenses fault they were on the field so much. The offense was ever efficient on 3rd downs and that's generally the issue. The numbers say the Ravens were 4 of 10, but they were much better.
The Colts came in with a gameplan similar to how most people thing the Ravens need to play in order to beat Manning. They played small ball and kept the clock running. They kept themselves in 3rd and short, making it easier to convert. They also ran a lot of illegal picks. But that's another story.
The Defense didn't have to make too many adjustments to this approach becausse the only way the Colts could beat them was with big plays. So they let them dink and dong.
I made the comment in the game thread that Flacco was having a Peyton/+Brady type performance. Taking full advantage of limited opportunities, because the other offense was trying to keep him off the field. If Ray doesn't fumble and Tandon catches that TD, it's a much different game and the Colts can't play small ball. Luck would have been forced to move throw the ball down field, which would've lead to more chances for the D to get off the field.
As for the Broncos, if the Ravens can force Manning to play small ball just like the Colts did, it's a win imo. As patient as Peyton is, he gets frustrated when he can't push the ball down field and that's what forces him to press. Manning will throw a few picks if you force him to press.
People say the key is keeping Manning off the field, i agree and disagree with that. I think the key is for the Ravens to play their game. Under Caldwell the Ravens have been much more balance. They either use the run to set up the Pass or vice versa. Stay with that. Force the Broncos to adjust to you. Don't adjust your game just because Peyton is on the other sideline.
You have Flacco, Rice, Boldin, Smith, Jones, Pitta, Dickson, Leach, Doss and Peirce, USE them all. Force the Broncos to adjust to getting you off the field instead of them saying, stop the run and sit on the sticks on 3rd downs. Too many times in games like this, Cam would go into a shell trying to run clock after the opening Kickoff.
Though it's possible, I don't see 17 points winning this game. It's gonna take at least 24 points to win this game, so why not try to get that 24 in the first half? That Denver defense has great numbers, but why let them off the hook? Attack their weakness just like you did with NYG and the Colts.
I wonder how Peyton would deal with the Ravens defense if he had to overcome a 24-3 deficit? How would that Broncos oline hold up, if the Ravens took the element of the play action away and could just pin their ears back and hunt because they have a big lead? Well lets find out.
Don't let Peyton Manning dictate the whole game, he's just one man and should have no effect on how our offense performs. Ray Lewis said it best, the Ravens are playing the Broncos, not Peyton Manning.