View Full Version : Ravens-Broncos: Breaking down the match-up

10-31-2009, 08:17 AM
Ravens-Broncos: Breaking down the match-up
By Dan Kolko on October 31, 2009 9:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Another week, another tough test for this Ravens team, as they'll take on the undefeated Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

With a rookie head coach and a new quarterback who had trouble holding onto the starting job while in Chicago, the Broncos were projected by many experts to be a .500 team at best this season.

Instead, Josh McDaniels' group is one of the most sound, balanced football teams in the league and they're off to a surprising 6-0 start.

The Ravens will have their hands full against this Denver team, which forces turnovers, doesn't give the ball up, and is exceptional late in games.

Here's how these two teams match up numbers-wise:

Total Offense
Ravens: 393.2 ypg (5th)
Broncos: 368.7 ypg (9th)

Rushing Offense
Ravens: 124.8 ypg (10th)
Broncos: 132.7 ypg (7th)

Passing Offense
Ravens: 268.3 ypg (8th)
Broncos: 236.0 ypg (12th)

Total Defense
Ravens: 332.7 ypg (19th)
Broncos: 262.5 ypg (2nd)

Rushing Defense
Ravens: 91.2 ypg (7th)
Broncos: 79.7 ypg (3rd)

Passing Defense
Ravens: 241.5 ypg (23rd)
Broncos: 182.8 ypg (8th)

Current Streak
Ravens: Lost 3
Broncos: Won 6

Offensively for the Broncos, quarterback Kyle Orton has played very smart football, and his 9-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (a mark which is tops in the NFL) is evidence of that. He has a big-play threat in WR Brandon Marshall, who is one of the most dangerous receivers in the league and is incredibly tough to bring down once he had the ball in his hands.

Orton will take some deep shots, but he mostly works on underneath routes and takes what defenses give him. He relies on Eddie Royal and ex-Raven Brandon Stokley in that aspect, and both wideouts are good at picking up yardage after the catch.

In addition to adding a new QB, Denver also completely overhauled their defense in terms of both personnel and scheme, but new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has done a great job of turning what could have been a messy situation into one of the NFL's top defensive units.

His aggressive 3-4 scheme features the league's leader in sacks in Elvis Dumervil and a strong secondary on the back end with perennial All Pro corner Champ Bailey and veteran safety Brian Dawkins.

A win tomorrow obviously won't come easy for this Baltimore team, but at 3-3 and with games still on the schedule against the Colts, Steelers (twice) and Packers in Green Bay, this might be a must-win for the Rat Birds.