The Denver Broncos (10-3) versus the Baltimore Ravens (9-4) will be a game that both sides desperately need to win in order to have a shot at a better seed in the playoffs and possibly a first-round bye. The Broncos are hoping for the bye and home field advantage in at least the divisional round. The Ravens just need a win to secure their chances of at least a Wild Card spot.
What does it mean for this matchup that Ravens LB Ray Lewis is out for the game? It means about the same as it would for the Broncos to be without QB Peyton Manning. Yes, Manning and Lewis mean probably as much or more to their side of the ball for their teams than any other players in the NFL.
The Ravens are known for their defense and Lewis has led that defense for years. Like Manning, Lewis is the head of that team in the locker room and on the field. These two demand so much of themselves that it makes the others around them work harder as well. When the others see what these leaders do on the field, it forces them to raise their game to another level.
So image either team without one of these guys. Lewis will be missing from the Ravens’ lineup and that alone will lower their chances of winning by a large margin. The Ravens have dominated the Broncos in Baltimore in the past, winning all five of their all-time meetings thereby a combined score of 142 to 56.
The difference this time will be that the Broncos have Manning and the Ravens will be without Lewis. In a checkers analogy, that’s sort of like giving the red team four kings and taking away four kings from the black team. In other words, it means a win for the Broncos.
My prediction: Broncos 34, Ravens 24
You can comment on this article below. Your opinions and thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
Follow me on Twitter @Broncos_Media
Like me on Facebook Mark Stringer – RantSports.com
Add me to your circle on Google + Mark Stringer