The Ravens haven’t had much luck against Peyton Manning during his storied career and Sunday will mark another match up versus the MVP candidate.
The Raven defense is struggling, in a tight AFC race; the Ravens have fallen out of the number two seed with the loss to the Washington Redskins.
Things get magnified when Manning is involved, but the Ravens defense hasn’t measured up to the expected standard in Baltimore and with playoff seeding on the line, they need their defense Sunday.
The Ravens defense have given up more than 30 points in a game three times, 4 opposing quarterbacks have topped 300 yards passing and 4 teams have rushed for at least 170 yards.
Manning must be licking his chops at the chance for a shot at a defense he has shredded at full strength, let alone a banged up one.
Missing linebackers Ray Lewis and possibly Terrell Suggs, Manning will have some time to find open receivers. Ravens defensive players know they will have to step up their game against the Bronco or it will be the same case scenario.
"We know we have to be clutch in these last few games," Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger said,” according to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. (Manning) is definitely a challenge. He's done it for a long time now. He's seen everything, but we know we have our destiny in our own hands. We just have to make it happen."
"Just technique stuff, small stuff, knowing your assignment and playing it to a T," Reed said. "This is a game of inches. You don't have time to be a step too deep when you're supposed to be underneath or eyes in the backfield if you're playing man as a safety.
Offenses make headaches for you sometimes, man. Experienced quarterbacks make headaches for you."
"The thing about that is Peyton Manning is aware of that as well," Harbaugh said this week. "He knows what Jim (Caldwell) knows about Peyton, so it's one of those kinds of deals.
There is no smarter quarterback than Peyton Manning. He's right up there with that group of guys. He's been doing it for a long time. With him, it really is a chess match that way. It's still football.
Those chess pieces are slamming into each other. There is an intellectual element to the game that we have to be very aware of. Jim has a handle on that, but Peyton understands that, too."