The Baltimore Ravens have a long history with the Denver Broncos. The AFC West foe found themselves in the center of Ravens history after falling victim to Joe Flacco and Jacoby Jones in the Mile High Miracle. Since that game in 2012 playoffs, the Ravens met with the Broncos twice, where the Broncos got their revenge. The first matchup between the two teams was the NFL Thursday night kickoff game in 2013. The Ravens traveled to Denver only to lose 49-27. Baltimore would again travel to Denver for the 2015 opener. The Ravens again lost, this time by a score of 19-13. Now, the story changes. This time the Broncos are on the road, and the Ravens are looking for revenge. Here are three keys to a Ravens victory on Sunday.
Establish a Run Game
Alex Collins is a nonfactor right now for the Baltimore Ravens. This is very surprising, as the Ravens traditionally are a run first team, and Collins is a very talented running back. Collins has only rushed the ball sixteen times in two games, while Joe Flacco has thrown the ball 89 times. This unbalance is not optimal for the Ravens offense. The team can do well and in passing, but to provide a more balanced attack would give the Ravens offense more stability and greater durability. If Joe Flacco passes the ball every play, defenses will expect it and create problems. A strong running game will prevent this. Alex Collins must rush for over 80 yards on Sunday, and to do this, the offensive line must block well.
Stop Phillip Lindsay and the Broncos Run Game
Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay is still relatively unknown in NFL circles, but in his two games as the Broncos starting running back, he has greatly impressed. In his two games with the Broncos, Lindsay rushed for an average of 89 yards per game. He averages 6.1 yards per carry and already has his first 100+ yard game under his belt. The Baltimore Ravens found the task of stopping Joe Mixon difficult, and the inability to do so contributed to the Ravens loss on Thursday Night. With the failures against the Bengals in mind, the Ravens will look to prevent the Broncos from exploiting the run game.
Limit Turnovers and Mistakes
Against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens made many costly mistakes. These mistakes consisted of fumbles, interceptions, stupid penalties, and bad plays. The complete depletion of discipline took place last Thursday, and it ultimately cost the Ravens the game. The Ravens cannot afford to repeat such errors and must return to disciplined football. Against the Denver Broncos, the Ravens will need to limit stupid mistakes. Joe Flacco will need to reduce his interception count. Offensive players must carry the ball with great care. Careless penalties and bad plays must be avoided as well.
The Baltimore Ravens will bounce back after a disappointing loss in Cincinnati. Against the Denver Broncos, Alex Collins will rush for over 100 yards for the first time this season. The Baltimore Ravens will limit Phillip Lindsay’s production, but not stop it outright. He will gain around 60 yards. Joe Flacco will throw for two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Ravens will minimize penalties, and not make costly mistakes as they did against the Bengals. The Ravens will win by a margin of 10, the final score being 27-17.