Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore Ravens’
2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 2
Week 2 of the NFL Power Rankings are out and unless you missed last Thursday night’s NFL opener between the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens or any of the Week 1 live stream or TV action, you know why Peyton Manning, I mean Denver, is the No. 1 ranked team heading into Week 2 of the schedule.
Manning and the Denver Broncos were as good as advertised last week in their opener as they thrashed the defending World Champion Ravens 49 27. Interestingly enough the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in this week’s Power Rankings will meet this weekend, so you know something’s gotta give!
This game is must see TV for NFL fans.
Both teams are among the top five favorites to win the Super Bowl and in a league that only plays 16 regular season games per season every game counts.
There is a bit of shuffling from the Week 1 standings, but my biggest move is the Philadelphia Eagles. They were impressive in their win over Washington on MNF and in my book the rankings are something that should literally go week to week, not a culmination of months or seasons past.
NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Picks
Baltimore Ravens (11 6) at Denver Broncos (13 3)
Love the Baltimore shakeup on the offensive line, re inserting a newly motivated (at least for now) Bryant McKinnie at left tackle; he played a dominant game against the Colts, keeping Joe Flacco free of Dwight Freeney, and I don’t doubt he’ll play very competitively against Elvis Dumervil here. But this is Peyton Manning we’re talking about, Manning on a mission with the kind of skill players that match his best days in Indianapolis. And it’s Manning with a nine game win streak against the Ravens (including playoffs). He’s won those nine by an average of 14 points per game. I understand the emotion of playing for Ray Lewis, but unless the Ravens force three or more turnovers (and that’s possible, if last week’s effort is any indication), I don’t see them holding Manning down.
Game of the weekend. Aaron Rodgers finally gets to play in a real game at Candlestick Park. To win, he’s going to have to do what a quarterback he loved growing up, Steve Young, did in these parts for years: throw efficiently on the run. San Francisco knows the way to win this game is to hit Rodgers and be physical with his cadre of top receivers. The one vision I have from last week’s game against Minnesota is Rodgers twice running at a full gallop out of the pocket and flicking a dead on accurate pass 15 yards or more downfield. Not that I don’t think Colin Kaepernick can’t do the same he’ll be in Clay Matthews’ sights all night but throwing accurately outside the pocket, with the posse chasing . Rodgers is the best in football at it right now.
Seattle Seahawks (12 5) at Atlanta Falcons (13 3)
Most significant NFL Wednesday injury report line: “ATL DE John Abraham (ankle), limited.” He’d better not be limited Sunday, two weeks after what looked to be worse than the apparently nasty ankle sprain Abraham suffered in the last game of the season. Not quite sure why, with Seattle missing its best pass rusher (Chris Clemons, torn ACL on the FedEx cow pasture last week) and Abraham likely not at full health, I pick only 30 points to be scored here. I think both secondaries will play stout and smart, and the physicality of the Seattle back four (or five, or six) will have a big impact on the game.
Houston Texans (13 4) at New England Patriots (12 4)
I want to believe it can be different than New England’s 42 14 rout of the Texans (28 0 after 36 minutes), and I believe it will be different. For the Texans, though, not different enough. Teams don’t like to be embarrassed, and the Dan Shaughnessy comparison to the Texans as “tomato cans” in his Boston Globe column will be ringing in the players’ ears by the time the ball’s kicked off. But the only way, other than a Patriots turnover fest, that I can see Houston winning this game is to use the same recipe as last week against Cincinnati: a heavy dose of Arian Foster. Foster ran it 32 times and caught it eight times last week, and the same thing here will limit Tom Brady’s possessions and his chances to beat up the Houston secondary. It’s possible; Foster’s a back who can wear a defense down. But this is a game where it’d all have to go right for Houston to win.