NFL Week 1 Kingshark Line
Season Opener: Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos TV: NBC 5pm PT/6pm MT/8pm ET
The tradition of the defending NFL Champion kicking off the season continues with the first game of this NFL season as the Ravens take on the Denver Broncos Thursday night. The Ravens and Broncos met twice last season. On December 16th, Peyton Manning threw for over 200 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos defeated the Ravens 34-17. The two teams would meet in the post season less than a month later. In a game that is now famous (infamous if you are a Broncos fan), the Ravens took a double-overtime 38-35 decision over Denver in a game that would ultimately springboard them to their second NFL title in franchise history. Justin Tucker provided the game-winning 47-yard field goal. Ravens QB Joe Flacco hit a shockingly wide open Jacoby Jones with a 72 yard TD pass with 31 seconds remaining in the final quarter to force the overtimes.
The Broncos cannot put that piece of their history behind them fast enough and are looking forward to getting their season started. Denver will not be lacking for motivation as they are a very attractive pick amongst the experts to represent the AFC in this season's Super Bowl in February. Manning will lead an offensive attack that has great balance with the ability to strike from anywhere on the field at any time. Manning will have some good "Go To Guys" such as Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. In addition, Manning has a new weapon in former Patriot Wes Welker who has had a solid career. Out of the backfield the Broncos have good options to carry the ball with Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno C.J. Anderson. On defense, the Broncos feature Robert Ayers, Shaun Phillips, Nate Irving, Wesley Woodyard, Paris Lenon, Danny Trevathan Steven Johnson along with corners Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all with the assignment of stopping the Ravens offense.
When the Ravens have the ball, Flacco will have reliable receivers of his own in Jacoby Jones, Torrey Smith. On the ground, Flacco will have a very solid options as well with Ray Rice and Vonta Leach leading the ground attack. On defense, former Bronco Elvis Dumerville returns to Denver for the first time as an opposing player. With Ray Lewis now retired, the Ravens will rely on Dumerville, along with Terrell Suggs, Jameel McClain, Lardarius Webb, Daryl Smith, James Ihedigbo and Michael Huff who will have the assignment shutting down Manning & Company.
Kingshark Line: The Broncos enter this game a seven-point favorite and are a team that can't wait to get out of the starting gate. This is a game they have had circled on the calendar since the NFL released the season schedule in April. The Ravens meanwhile are the defending champions and are out to prove that they were no fluke, and are more than just Ray Lewis. The Ravens when on their game can be very good on both sides of the ball and that could happen here. However, the Broncos are as solid now as they ever have been and are said to be even better than a year ago. While that remains to be seen, the Broncos have all the motivation in the world and know beating Baltimore early will be a huge feather in their cap. Sports Authority Field at Mile High will be rocking loud. It will also be a lot warmer than it was in January, by about 70 degrees at least. Denver wins a barn burner over Baltimore 30-27.
*The Kingshark Line is for entertainment purposes only. Most Kingshark Line game analysis won't go this in depth (except for the 49ers ofcourse), however this is the NFL's season opener and the season is finally here at long last...