Peyton Manning may have had the Baltimore Ravens' number back when he was starring for the Indianapolis Colts, but since things have changed and No. 18 is set to visit M&T Bank Stadium as a member of the Denver Broncos in Week 15.
While many have begun singing MVP chants for Manning, the noise is slightly premature.
After six consecutive weeks of recording a passer rating of 100-plus, Manning has recorded just one 100-plus passer rating in his last four outings. He has also thrown an interception in each of his last four games.
Broncos fans and fantasy owners should anticipate another rare pedestrian-like performance from Manning this weekend, and here's why.
Having dropped two straight games and recently firing their offensive coordinator, the Baltimore Ravens are on high alert this weekend and will be fighting to ensure a playoff spot on Sunday, something the Broncos have already secured.
Therefore Peyton Manning can expect to see an energized and inspired defense on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
And although many have been taking shots at Baltimore's pass defense this season because it ranks 23rd in the league in terms of yards allowed (246 per game), it must be pointed out that the Ravens have given up fewer touchdowns passing than 30 other teams in the NFL, and are tied with Seattle for first with 12 through 13 games.
Baltimore also ranks 14th in opponent's completion percentage, holding opponents to a percentage of 60.8 on average.
Peyton Manning studies more tape than anyone, but it's been a long time since he's been pitted against the Baltimore Ravens' defense. The last time Manning squared off against the Ravens was when he was with the Indianapolis Colts in the 2009 AFC Divisional playoff round, nearly three years ago.
Manning played solid in that game, but he finished with his lowest passer rating of the 2009 postseason, which included an AFC Championship win over New York and a loss to New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV.
Manning's last regular season matchup vs. Baltimore also came back in 2009, and although he and the Colts won, it wasn't pretty for No. 18.
The four-time NFL MVP completed 71 percent of his throws for nearly 300 yards, but tossed just one touchdown to two interceptions. That marked one of only two games that season in which Manning had more picks than touchdowns.
Over/Under 1.5 touchdowns for Manning vs. Baltimore?
Sure, Peyton Manning's numbers make him a must-start fantasy quarterback week after week, but he's looked human over the past month or so, setting up a pedestrian-like effort this weekend in Baltimore.
The Ravens have a whole lot to play for, and field a defense that is much better against the pass than many make them out to be. Baltimore will have the added advantage of playing at home as well, where they rarely lose.
In the end, expect a quiet day from Manning and the Broncos on the road against their first playoff bound opponent in weeks.
Week 15 Projection: 21-of-36, 266 yards, one touchdown, one interception
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