As per Peyton Manning, there’s one thing for certain: it is time to forget about the past. In an interview Sunday with USA Today Manning refused to talk about the playoffs last season. “This is a new season for us. We’re playing a new team.”
It’s 2013, it’s a new game, a new season, a new team and a new start for the Denver Broncos.
It’s not necessary to go into in-depth detail of all the changes the Broncos have made this offseason. We are all just ready for some football so let’s get to the point.
Denver Broncos Breakdown:
- Elvis Dumervil paperwork mishap lead to him being released and picked up by the Ravens.
- Wes Welker is added to the mix of go-to receivers that already included Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
- Von Miller suspended 6 games due to violating NFL drug policy.
- After a scary moment in the preseason game at Seattle, Derek Wolfe will participate Thursday.
- After center Dan Koppen was injured in the preseason, Manny Ramirez has taken over.
- The running back spot will be shared between rookie Montee Ball (now #28) and Ronnie Hillman, who has looked less than impressive this preseason with 4 fumbles.
- Champ Bailey is officially out of the game due to foot sprain.
Baltimore Ravens Breakdown:
Ray Lewis retired.
Safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard signed with Houston and Tennessee respectively.
Linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger signed with Miami and Cleveland respectively.
Corner Cary Williams signed with Philadelphia.
- Baltimore’s leading receiver Anquan Boldin is now in San Francisco.
Terell Suggs and Laradrius Webb are now healthy.
Former Broncos Elvis Dumervil and Brandon Stokley have joined the Ravens organization.
Tight End Dennis Pitta is out indefinitely due to a hip injury.
With the Ravens having a lot more changes than the Broncos, what this game will come down to is how well Manning can read the new-look Ravens defense.
Dumervil is listed as a strongside linebacker and appears to be splitting time with Courtney Upshaw by being a situational pass rusher. In the preseason so far he looks like the usual Dumervil, forcing three quick throws compared to Upshaw, who only had one QB hurry but had more playing time.
Being former teammates, Manning knows why Dumervil will be in the game: to pass rush. He should be able to use that to his advantage and read the defense like a book depending on whether Dumervil or Upshaw is in.
Torrey Smith and Ray Rice will be a priority for the Broncos’ defense. What has been proven is that Smith needs to be stopped five yards from the line of scrimmage. Any additional yardage outside of that and he becomes hard to beat. With Champ Bailey’s foot injury, Chris Harris and/or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will have to keep up with these guys in order to win.
For Rice it is a similar situation. Nate Irving and Danny Trevathan need to stop him as close to the line of scrimmage as possible otherwise he will be able to dodge and spin his way out of the backfield.
With Von Miller out it will be very interesting to see who steps up as the Broncos’ go-to pass rusher. Ideally everyone can apply some sort of pressure on Joe Flacco throughout the game.
On Thursday Rahim Moore said, “It’s about the team. We all suffered. But the good thing about it is it’s a whole new year. Nobody remembers what you did last year.”
After the best team wins Thursday, that will be the team to remember.
Moore had to add, “but we do have a chip on our shoulders.”
Denver Broncos 28 – Baltimore Ravens 17