Defensive predictions for Sunday's game

Defensive predictions for Sunday's game
December 14, 2012, 1:15 pm
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Harbaugh, Ravens brace for rejuvenated Manning

The defense is going to need to come up with a great effort in Sunday's game to slow down Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. It won't be an easy task, and here's a few general predictions of what we might see.

1. Being politically correct, it's probably a safe bet that at least one of the big two -- Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs -- will play: Truth be told, I'm guessing that both will be on the field for this one. They certainly won't be at 100 percent, nor should they be expected to be, but their return would help the Ravens in some form. Otherwise, there will be a whole bunch of inexperienced players trying to stop one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

2. The secondary and linebackers might be very busy: Actually, they'll be very busy. Can Cary Williams and Corey Graham come up with good games? That's a big question. Both have played well at times, but can they do it for a whole game? The linebackers have had problems with pass coverage all season long. This could be another test that might not be fun.

3. The defense will have plenty of chances to do its work: With the way Peyton Manning does his thing, he'll do a good job at trying to pick apart a Baltimore defense that's really struggled the last two weeks. There's no other way to say it-- the Ravens have holes caused by a huge number of injuries. Manning is the kind of quarterback who can guide his team to a win by scoring a lot of touchdowns or a lot of field goals. The Ravens will have a better chance to win if their red zone defense can limit Denver to threes more often than sevens. That could help keep the Ravens within shouting distance and could be a big key. 

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