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Facing the Enemy Week 5: Ravens vs Broncos

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In this upcoming Week 5 game, the (2-2) Denver Broncos come into Charm City with a prolific offense to face the (3-1) Baltimore Ravens boasting a dominating defense. With Knowshon Moreno ruled out for this game, the Broncos already-struggling run game will have to step up against a run-stuffing team like the Ravens.

I asked Kim Constantinesco, the lead blogger at Predominately Orange, a few questions about this clash between a high-flying offense and shut-down defense. She thinks running the ball, regardless of who’s starting, is important to have an effective passing game. And though she doesn’t think this won’t be a blowout like last year, her choice of this game’s winner was surprising. Check out the interview below:

1.) After getting their first loss (30-7) to the Ravens last year, do you think there are extra emotions for the Broncos heading into this game?
I don’t think emotions from last year’s loss will carry over to this year. Both teams have different players and they’ve implemented new schemes. While the Broncos do remember that loss, this is just another tough road game for them. They know the Ravens are physical and perhaps have one of the toughest front 7′s in the league, so the intensity at practice was amped up this week. The team is trying to build some momentum after their week 4 win in Tennessee, so any emotions that are carried into this game will come strictly from this season.

2.) How can the Broncos #1 passing unit plan to be effective against the Ravens #1 passing defense?
The Broncos will have to get comfortable moving the ball down field at a slow rate. With the Ravens not giving up many big plays, patience will be the key to the passing game. It will be important for the running game to get going, so the play action is more effective. Continuing to spread the ball around to different receivers is also key against this Ravens defense. Kyle Orton has had tremendous success distributing the ball amongst his receivers which could prove important in keeping the Ravens’ secondary honest.

3.) The Broncos are ranked dead last in rushing; playing a team like the Ravens, is that a concern?
With the Ravens being the top-ranked pass defense, establishing the ground game early is very important. Regardless of which backs suit up, they will need to average more than 2.2 yards per carry. Controlling the clock away from home is so important as is keeping the defense honest. When the rushing game is effective, the passing game is effective and vice versa. If the Broncos balance their offense, they will be much more competitive in their remaining games.

4.) Name one Broncos player that Ravens fans should look out for in this game?
Watch for Demaryius Thomas. The Ravens were very close to picking him up in last year’s draft. He’s got a Brandon Marshall-like body and he’s started handling kickoff returns averaging 36 yards per return. I suspect he’ll score either on offense or on special teams against the Ravens.

5.) What are your game predictions?
I predict a Baltimore win 20-17. This year’s game will be much closer than last year. It will be a defensive battle.

You can also check out my answers to Kim’s questions here.

Kim Constantinesco