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Weather is blustery but focused Broncos aren’t
Question of the Day
“So, this will be a completely different game, a completely different test,” Broncos coach John Fox said.
Manning said he didn’t have any reaction to the Ravens saying they were eager for a chance to atone for that lopsided loss.
“I know they have some guys back that did not play in the first game,” Manning said, noting this is certainly the time of year you want to be healthy. “… Those guys make a difference for their team. They made a difference for their team on Sunday holding their opponent to zero touchdowns. It’s an excellent defense, really no matter who’s in there, in my opinion, but certainly when they have all their other guys back, they’re extremely tough.”
Joining the praise parade, Broncos safety Rahim Moore gushed this week about swapping jerseys with his hero, Baltimore Pro Bowler Ed Reed, after last month’s game, and Champ Bailey pumped up Lewis, saying, “I know he’s going to miss the game, but I think the game will miss him more because there’s nobody like him.”
Following a 12-week layoff with a torn right biceps, Lewis led the Ravens with 13 tackles to spark an emotional win over Indianapolis in the final home game of his spectacular 17-year career last week. The 37-year-old middle linebacker intends to retire after Baltimore completes its playoff run.
A marquee at a Denver hotel not far from Sports Authority Field reads: “Join us for Ray Lewis‘ retirement party at 2 p.m. Saturday.”
The Broncos would cringe at such braggadocio.
The weather may be blustery but they certainly aren’t, pointing out repeatedly that the Ravens are the only NFL team to reach the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, and they’ve won at least one game in each of those trips. They’ve also had a month to get used to Jim Caldwell calling offensive plays after his discombobulated debut against Denver on Dec. 16.
Of course, not all the Ravens were boastful or bombastic this week; several had high praise for the Broncos — and the Broncos brushed off those compliments, too, lest they lose their focus.
“I don’t really buy into all that mental warfare and all that stuff,” linebacker Von Miller said. “I just like to get between the lines and just play football. I think that’s where you can settle the score, on the football field.”
Notes: Fox said RB Willis McGahee didn’t have any setbacks this week. If the Broncos beat Baltimore and he continues to progress next week, he’ll be eligible to return for the AFC championship, two months after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. … RG Zane Beadles said a big reason for his breakout season was his work with a sports psychologist last spring.
By John McAfee
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