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Old 10-30-2009, 07:13 AM   #1
baja
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Opponent Preview: Denver Broncos
What: Week 8
When: Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
2009 records: Broncos, 6-0; Ravens, 3-3
TV: WJZ-TV, Channel 13 (Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf)
Radio: WIYY-FM, 97.9 (Gerry Sandusky, Rob Burnett, Stan White)

ABOUT THE BRONCOS

Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Broncos are tied for third in the NFL in Super Bowl appearances (six, winning two) and are in the league's top five in winning seasons (24), overall wins (370), regular-season wins (353) and home wins (214).

Denver and Baltimore are coming off their bye weeks to play each other. Denver is the first of three straight opponents the Ravens are facing after their week off, and Baltimore is the second of three straight rested foes the Broncos are facing.

The Broncos are a sparkling 15-5 after their bye weeks, including 4-2 on the road. They have faced the Ravens twice after a bye, beating them in 1996 but losing in Baltimore in 2002.

Denver is 6-0 for the first time since 1998, the second of the team's two Super Bowl years. The Broncos have started 6-0 four previous times in franchise history and have advanced to the Super Bowl each time.

The Broncos and Indianapolis Colts were the AFC's only two teams to start the season by winning their first six games. Denver's start could guard against a 2008-type collapse down the stretch in which Denver lost its last four games and finished tied with San Diego atop the AFC West Division at 8-8. However, the Chargers were 5-1 in the division with the Broncos at 3-3.

Even though four of Denver's six beaten opponents have winning records, New England's Tom Brady is the only one of nine quarterbacks ranked in the top 13 in both passing yardage and completion percentage the Broncos have faced so far. Starting this week, they face two straight quarterbacks in that category, Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger.

In 2009, the Broncos fortunes were turned over to the sixth-youngest NFL head-coaching hire, former New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels, now 33. McDaniels played quarterback at Ohio's John Carroll University, alma mater of former Baltimore and Miami head coach Don Shula, the eighth-youngest coach hired.

McDaniels, a part of the staff for all three Patriots' Super Bowl wins, surrounded himself with veteran talent, such as Baltimore native and former Ravens wide receivers coach and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. However, McDaniels is one of only seven head coaches leaguewide to call his own plays.

Thanks to Nolan and a set of attacking schemes he left for Rex Ryan in Baltimore, the Broncos defense -- which has started the same 11 players in every game this year -- was ranked second overall through the season's first month (third vs. rush, eighth vs. pass, first scoring at 11 points per game allowed). The defense had been 14th or worse the last four years.

Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil is the NFL leader with 10 of the Broncos' 21 sacks. Dumervil is not tied down to lining up in any one position; consequently, he has five sacks from each side.

Contributing to the Broncos' gaudy plus-7 turnover ratio are interceptions made by six different players, including nine-time Pro Bowl cornerback and three-time All-Pro selection Champ Bailey.

Linebacker D.J. Williams, playing his fourth different position, leads the team in tackles with 46, including two sacks and two fumble recoveries. Ex-Cleveland linebacker Andra Davis has 38 and former Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins is third with 38.

In the second half this season, the Broncos have outscored their opposition by an astonishing 76-10 margin, including 23-3 in the third quarter and 50-7 in the fourth.

An offseason trade with the Chicago Bears netted the services of quarterback Kyle Orton (63.9 percent completion, nine TDs, 1 INT, 100.1 rating). With a win Sunday, Orton (27-12 as a starter) would be the second quarterback since the merger to win his first seven games with a new team. Dieter Brock (1985 Los Angeles Rams) was the first.

Through six games, the Broncos' offense was ninth-best in the league (seventh rushing, 12th passing, tied for 17th scoring) and converting 41 percent of its third-down chances. The Broncos have fielded a top 7 offense in 12 of the last 16 years.

Denver has scored in 267 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the league and the third-longest in history. The Broncos haven't suffered a shutout since November 1992 when they were blanked by the then-Los Angeles Raiders.

Denver's always-potent running game lost a bit of depth when ex-Philadelphia back Correll Buckhalter was injured against Dallas last month. Former Georgia standout Knowshon Moreno is averaging 3.8 yards per carry with a longest run of just 17 yards. Ex-Maryland back LaMont Jordan is one of the backups.

Standout receiver Brandon Marshall leads the team with 29 catches, an 11.4-yard average and four touchdowns. Marshall also has three carries in the team's "Wild Horses" offense, its version of the "Wildcat." All told, six Broncos receivers -- including ex-Raven Brandon Stokley -- have at least 12 catches.

Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney has played three games against the Ravens with just one touchdown, but it was the last-minute corner-of-the-end-zone toss from Tom Brady in M&T Bank Stadium's west end zone that preserved New England's 2007 unbeaten regular season.

The Broncos' return game and coverage teams have recovered from slow starts. Return specialist Eddie Royal has one touchdown on each unit and the kick coverage team hasn't allowed a runback longer than 32 yards.

Sixteen-year NFL veteran punter and Colorado graduate Mitch Berger was recently signed to take the place of Brett Kern, who had an NFL-high six touchbacks. Kicker Matt Prater is 12-for-16 on field goals, but two of the misses were in between 30-39 yards.

Ex-Ravens defensive line coach Jacob Burney is a part of the Broncos' coaching staff, as is former Baltimore staffer Jedd Fisch. Perry Hall native and former Denver standout wide receiver Steve Watson is listed as an associate head coach.

Former Navy special teams coach and alumnus Mike Preifer coaches the special teams with Keith Burns, the linebacker famously obliterated by a Ray Lewis block during Chris McAlister's runback of a missed field goal in a 2002 Ravens win over Denver.

PREDICTION:

Denver has profited plenty from opponents' mistakes. They won't be so lucky here...

Ravens 24
Broncos 13

http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=5346

Last edited by baja; 10-30-2009 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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I love it - that is the constant theme from the ravens pundits.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:31 AM   #3
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This is a recurring theme. I have yet to see a site pick the Broncos to beat the Ravens. I know it's going to be a tough road game but c'mon....






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Old 10-30-2009, 08:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baja View Post
Ex-Ravens defensive line coach Jacob Burney is a part of the Broncos' coaching staff, as is former Baltimore staffer Jedd Fisch. Perry Hall native and former Denver standout wide receiver Steve Watson is listed as an associate head coach.
http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=5346
Psssst, update your refrences.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
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I'll take any Bronco receiver lined up against Foxworthy
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Ex-Ravens defensive line coach Jacob Burney is a part of the Broncos' coaching staff, as is former Baltimore staffer Jedd Fisch. Perry Hall native and former Denver standout wide receiver Steve Watson is listed as an associate head coach.
HUH? That was last year. Where is he getting his info from?

edit: Just saw Bowtown's reply.

Last edited by Traveler; 10-30-2009 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
HUH? That was last year. Where is he getting his info from?
This matchup of Dan Reeves vs Marty Shotenheimer should be a good one. Two coaches at the top of their game. Denver has a good young QB but the Dog Pound is always a tough place to play.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtown View Post
This matchup of Dan Reeves vs Marty Shotenheimer should be a good one. Two coaches at the top of their game. Denver has a good young QB but the Dog Pound is always a tough place to play.

Don't forget about their probowl duo of CBs Frank Minifield and Hanford Dixon..




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Old 10-30-2009, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtown View Post
Psssst, update your refrences.
Here's to hoping the Rat Bird coaching staff studies the same references this article does.

Last edited by baja; 10-30-2009 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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I am mostly concerned about Ogden giving Dilfer all day to find an open Stokely
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:40 AM   #11
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I'm confused. Does Shannon Sharp play on our team or theirs this year...........................
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baja View Post
Former Navy special teams coach and alumnus Mike Preifer coaches the special teams with Keith Burns, the linebacker famously obliterated by a Ray Lewis block during Chris McAlister's runback of a missed field goal in a 2002 Ravens win over Denver.
Classy move, dbag
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:19 AM   #13
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Their only hope is that Denver under acheives unlike the the past 6 games. Good luck with that.
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