These two teams met back in Week 15, with the Broncos prevailing, but anything could happen, especially in a win-or-go home contest.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch this matchup, who to keep an eye on, the latest injury report, a prediction on the final score and much more in our postseason preview.
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver
When: Saturday, January 12 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Listen: WBAL 1090 AM/WIYY 97.9 FM (Baltimore), 850 KOA AM (Denver)
Live Streaming: NFL.com Audio Pass
Betting Line: Broncos -9, Over/Under 46 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Injury Report (via FFToobox.com)
RB Vonta Leach Probable - Thigh
RB Anthony Allen Probable - Head
RB Bernard Pierce Probable - Ankle
WR Deonte Thompson Out
WR Anquan Boldin Probable - Shoulder
WR Torrey Smith Probable - Knee
WR Tandon Doss Probable - Ankle
TE Billy Bajema Probable - Head
RB Chris Gronkowski Questionable - Hamstring
WR Trindon Holliday Questionable - Ankle
Ravens Player to Watch: Ray Lewis
The superstar linebacker knows that this might be his last hurrah in the NFL, as his team is a huge underdog and isn’t expected to advance to the AFC Championship.
Because of this, we expect Lewis to put together perhaps one of his best games as a professional football player. The 37-year-old has more soul than James Brown and is one of the most passionate, skillful men to ever play the position.
We know the cameras will not shy away from Lewis when he’s on the field, so keep an eye on the future Hall-of-Famer and watch him put on a clinic.
Broncos Player to Watch: Peyton Manning
Here’s another veteran that will likely be a difference-maker in this contest.
Manning is one of the all-time great signal-callers in this league, and he’s eager to show he isn’t washed up yet after missing an entire season due to neck surgery.
While the top-flight QB has led his team to 11-straight winners and the No. 1 seed in the AFC, he’s been off the radar and has rarely been featured in the national television spotlight as of late.
There’s a reason the Broncos are considered Super Bowl favorites, and it’s not because of Knowshon Moreno’s running game. Manning is one of the best ever and he’s going to show it once again on Saturday.
Key Matchup: Denver wide receivers vs. Baltimore secondary
The Baltimore secondary is one of the oldest, most banged-up units in the league, and it’s clearly the weakest part of the defense.
Last week, the Indianapolis Colts tried to exploit this by constantly taking deep shots down the field, but weren’t able to make enough plays to win. We think things will be different if the Broncos try the same strategy.
Manning has pinpoint accuracy and a corps of highly skilled wideouts. If they get open deep, he’s going to hit them in stride and there aren’t going to be many drops.
While the legendary Ed Reed will be doing his best to organize the other safeties and corners, he has his work cut out for him against this elite Denver offense.
Prediction: Broncos 35, Ravens 14
These two franchises recently met in Maryland back in Week 15, a contest that the Broncos won handily, 34-17.
We think it will be even more lopsided in the divisional round of the postseason, as Denver is playing at home and coming off a week of rest from a much-deserved bye, while Baltimore had to host Indy and has had no relaxation for the veteran squad.
Unfortunately for Ravens fans, this just isn’t a great opponent. There is a reason why Vegas has the team as a nine-point dog—there are just too many mismatches.
Expect Manning and the rest of the Broncos to roll into the AFC Championship.
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