Denver Broncos Begin Quest For Super Bowl 50 At Home Against Baltimore Ravens
Denver Broncos Begin Quest For Super Bowl 50 At Home Against Baltimore Ravens

Gary Kubiak will coach his first regular season game as Denver Broncos head coach against the team he served as offensive coordinator for in 2014, as the Baltimore Ravens make their second trip in three years to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to open the season.

Baltimore Ravens vs Denver Broncos

Week 1 - 09/13/15

Time: 4:25 PM ET

TV: CBS

Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Line: Broncos -4.5 (Westgate Superbook)

2014 Record

Baltimore Ravens

Overall:

10-6 (3rd, AFC North)

Home: 6-2

Road: 4-4

#5 Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens. Photo: Getty Images

2014 Record

Denver Broncos

Overall:

12-4 (1st, AFC West)

Home: 8-0

Road: 4-4

Head-To-Head Record

Regular Season: Ravens lead 7-5

Playoffs: Ravens lead 2-0

At Denver: Broncos lead 4-2


Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass in the first half of their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on August 22, 2015 in Houston, Texas.
(Aug. 21, 2015 - Source: Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America)

Last Time Met:


Andre Caldwell #12 of the Denver Broncos catches a 28-yard pass before running in for the touchdown in front of Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado.
(Sept. 4, 2013 - Source: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America)

09/05/13 at Denver: Thanks to a scheduling conflict with baseball's Baltimore Orioles, Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens were forced to open up the defense of their title on the road against the Denver Broncos.

The Ravens knocked off the Broncos in Denver the previous January in a shocking upset in an AFC divisional playoff round. Eight months later the Broncos were looking for payback and they got it as Peyton Manning threw for a NFL record-tying seven touchdowns in a 49-27 rout.

Caption
Steve Smith Sr. #89 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a ball but was ruled out of bounds against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
(Dec. 20, 2014 - Source: Bob Levey/Getty Images North America)

Starters:

Baltimore Ravens
Offense Position NFL Experience (Seasons)
#11 Kamar Aiken WR 3
#60 Eugene Monroe LT 7
#72 Kelechi Osemele LG 4
#53 Jeremy Zuttah C 8
#73 Marshal Yanda RG 9
#71 Rick Wagner RT 3
#80 Crockett Gilmore TE 2
#89 Steve Smith, SR WR 15
#5 Joe Flacco QB 8
#44 Kyle Juszcyk FB 3
#29 Justin Forsett RB 8
Defense Position NFL Experience (Seasons)
#97 Timmy Jernigan LDE 2
#98 Brandon Williams NT 3
#99 Chris Canty RDE 11
#55 Terrell Suggs LOLB 13
#57 C.J. Mosley LILB 2
#51 Daryl Smith RILB 12
#91 Courtney Upshaw ROLB 4
#21 Lardarius Webb LCB 7
#33 Will Hill SS 4
#23 Kendrick Lewis FS 6
#22 Jimmy Smith RCB 5
Special Teams Position NFL Experience (Seasons)
#9 Justin Tucker K 4
#4 Sam Koch P, H 10
#46 Morgan Cox LS 6
#15 Michael Campanaro KOR, PR 2

Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls out to his teammates behind center against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado.
(Sept. 4, 2013 - Source: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America)
Denver Broncos
Offense Position NFL Experience (Seasons)
#88 Demaryius Thomas WR 6
#74 Ty Sambrailo LT R
#69 Evan Mathis RT 10
#61 Matt Paradis C 1
#65 Louis Vasquez RG 7
#68 Ryan Harris RT 9
#81 Owen Daniels TE 10
#10 Emmanuel Sanders WR 6
#18 Peyton Manning QB 18
#80 James Casey FB 7
#22 C.J. Anderson RB 3
Defense Position NFL Experience (Season)
#90 Antonio Smith LDE 12
#92 Sylvester Williams NT 3
#97 Malik Jackson RDE 4
#94 DeMarcus Ware LOLB 11
#54 Brandon Marshall LILB 4
#59 Danny Trevathan RILB 4
#58 Von Miller ROLB 5
#21 Aqib Talib LCB 8
#25 Chris Harris, JR RCB 4
#30 David Bruton, JR SS 7
#26 Darian Stewart FS 6
Special Teams Position NFL (Seasons)
#8 Brandon McManus K, KO 2
#4 Britton Colquitt P, H 7
#46 Aaron Brewer LS 4
#10 Emmanuel Sanders PR 6
#31 Omar Bolden KR 4
2014 NFL Rankings
Ravens Broncos
Total Offense (YPG) 12th (364.9) 4th (402.9)
Total Defense 8th (336.9) 3rd (305.2)
2014 Team Leaders
Passing C/ATT PCT ATT/G YDS AVG TD INT Sacks Rating NFL Rank
Joe Flacco 344/544 62.1 34.6 3,986 7.2 27 12 19 91.0 12th
Peyton Manning 395/597 66.2 37.3 4,727 7.9 39 15 17 101.5 4th
Rushing CAR CAR/G YDS AVG YDS/G Long TD NFL Rank
Justin Forsett 235 14.7 1,266 5.4 79.1 52 8 6
C.J. Anderson 179 11.9 849 4.7 56.6 27 27 21
Receiving REC YDS AVG YDS/G Long TD NFL Rank
Steve Smith 79 1,065 13.5 66.6 80 6 24
Demaryius Thomas 111 1,619 14.6 101.2 86 11 2
Tackles TOT Solo NFL Rank
C.J. Mosley 133 89 7
Brandon Marshall 113 91 T-18
Sacks TOT NFL Rank
Elvis Dumervil 17.0 3
Von Miller 14.0 6
Interceptions TOT NFL Rank
C.J. Mosley 2 T-59
Rahim Moore 4 T-8

A Denver Broncos fan holds up a sign in the third quarter during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado.
(Sept. 4, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

What To Look For As The Broncos Take On The Ravens:

Can Peyton Manning get the new offense humming?

For the first time in his 18-year career Manning did not throw a preseason touchdown. The first-team offense never got in sync as receivers ran the wrong routes, passes would fall behind or past the intended targets, and promising drives would stall after costly penalties.

The offense is a work in progress and it may take a few games before things kick into high gear. However, the run game produced results during the preseason as C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman took quickly to head coach Gary Kubiak's one-cut rushing attack.

How quickly will the new offensive line gel?

The new-look offensive line showed promise during the preseason but the question remains over how well it will protect Manning as it learns how to operate as one unit.

Rookie left tackle Ty Sambrailo will bear the brunt of the scrutiny as he protects Manning's blind side. Sambrailo worked next to rookie left guard Max Garcia during the preseason. That will change against the Ravens as veteran All-Pro Evan Mathis, recently acquired as a free agent, will make his Broncos debut. Having Mathis next to him will aid Sambrailo in picking up blitzes and recognizing the different defensive formations.

Is the 2015 Broncos defense the best in franchise history?

It's very possible this year's defense will be the best the franchise has ever fielded.

With the pass rush combination of DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller already one of the league's best, add first-round draft pick Shane Ray, and throw all three into the highly aggressive 3-4 defense of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and opposing quarterbacks are going to have a tough time staying off their backs.

The Broncos secondary is fielding two shut down corners in Aqib Talib and Chris Harrism along with safeties T.J. Ward (returns from suspension in Week 2) and Darian Stewart. Talib and Harris are capable of handling receivers on their own which frees up defenders for the pass rush and blitzes. The Ravens offensive line will have it's hands full coming up with ways to protect Flacco.

Who Has The Advantage?
Ravens Broncos Explanation
Offense X The Broncos offense is in the early stages of implementation with a few bugs still to work out. This gives the opposition the advantage in the early weeks of the season. The Raven defense is always a full load to handle. For Week 1 at least, Baltimore has the advantage on offense. Advantage: Ravens
Defense X The Ravens' defense has been historically great with the ability to get to the quarterback while their secondary locks down the wide receivers. What the Broncos under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have produced in 2015 is a defense that has speed at nearly every position, pass rushers in linebackers Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and rookie Shane Ray that can get to the quarterback at will, and a secondary that is second to none in covering receivers one-on-one. Advantage: Broncos
Special Teams X The Broncos special teams struggled in the preseason, especially in the return game. Emmanuel Sanders will make his debut as a punt returner in hopes of adding some zoom into the return game. Advantage: Ravens
Coaching X John Harbaugh is a Super Bowl winning head coach. Enough said. Advantage: Ravens

Injury Report

Baltimore Ravens Position Injury Game Status
Chris Canty DL Non-injury related Probable
Timmy Jernigan DT Knee Doubtful
Rashaan Melvin CB Thigh Doubtful
Breshad Perriman WR Knee Out
Daryl Smith LB Non-injury related Probable
Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Knee Out
Denver Broncos Position Injury Game Status
Kenny Anunike DE Knee Out
Omar Bolden S Rib cage Probable
Andre Caldwell WR Flu Probable
Mitchell Henry TE Finger Probable
Brandon Marshall ILB Foot Probable
Lerentee McCray OLB Groin Questionable
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