Ravens could be team of destiny

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Ravens could be team of destiny

Post by gracieshome on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:38 am

Ravens could be team of destiny
by Peter Schrager
Updated Jan 9, 2013 11:50 AM ET



Every single football fan without a 410 or 713 area code seems to want Brady vs. Manning next weekend, but I’m not quite ready to etch CBS’s dream AFC Championship matchup in stone. I’m on an island this week and this island is littered with crab cakes, Jim Palmer stories and Barry Levinson movie references.

This island may have some destiny on it, too.

Yes, I like the Ravens to upset the Broncos in Denver on Saturday afternoon. And it’s not even because I am blown away by Baltimore. Truthfully, I’m just not sold on Denver.

Huh?

I’m not supposed to pour ice cold water all over what the Broncos have accomplished this season. After all, Peyton Manning’s re-emergence and the silencing of his doubters has been one of football’s great stories this year. After undergoing four surgeries and missing 18 months from the football field, Manning was the best quarterback in the league during the 2012 regular season.

When the Broncos were 4-3, I predicted in this very column that they’d win nine straight games to finish out the year. They did. And they did so in dominant fashion, too, becoming the first team in NFL history to win 10 straight games by at least seven points. Denver was so overpowering over the season’s second half that it’s difficult to recall that back in September, this was a very average team.

Denver was beaten on a Monday night in Atlanta in Week 2, handled at home by the Texans in Week 4 and outcoached and outmanned by the Patriots in Week 5. Since that Week 5 game against New England, I hate to break this — they haven’t really played anyone.

Outside of Baltimore and Cincinnati — two teams that were struggling mightily prior to facing Denver — the Broncos’ opponents since Week 5 had a combined record of 32-64 this season. Sweeping the NFC North or the NFC East is a major accomplishment. A statement. Beating Oakland, Kansas City, and San Diego twice isn’t exactly sacking Rome.

The NFL did the Broncos no favors scheduling the bulk of their toughest opponents in the first five weeks of the NFL season. And though the NFL scheduling gods would never admit to this, that was likely done intentionally. There was intrigue around Manning’s return; so much intrigue that the NFL propped Manning and the Broncos up as an unofficial “America’s Team” in the season’s first two months. Denver faced its four toughest opponents before Columbus Day...


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gracieshome

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Join date : 2012-01-23
Location : Glen Burnie, Maryland

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