Jackson: Ravens must keep Manning off the field
When Manning has to play from behind, he’s vulnerable. Give him a lead and usually the opponent, in this case the Ravens on Saturday in a divisional playoff game, doesn’t have a prayer.
The Broncos took a 17-3 lead at the Ravens in Week 15 and easily won 34-17. Manning only threw for 204 yards and 1 TD, but the Broncos dominated the ball as they held it 39 minutes
In the Broncos’ three losses this season, there were common threads that have persisted throughout Manning's career:
-- In a 27-21 loss at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2: Manning threw three first-half interceptions as the Broncos fell behind 20-7 at halftime and couldn’t recover. Falcons QB Matt Ryan only threw for 219 yards and Michael Turner led all rushers with 42 for his team. Manning was sacked 3 times, hit 6 and lost the time-of-possession battle 33 minutes to 27.
-- In a 31-25 loss vs. the Houston Texans in Week 3: Manning didn’t throw any interceptions as they took a 5-0 first-quarter lead, but the Texans went ahead 21-11 by halftime. Manning threw the ball 52 times –- 22 more attempts than counterpart Matt Schaub who had 4 TDs. Manning was sacked 3 times and hit 6 and lost the possession battle 32-28.
-- In a 31-21 loss at the New England Patriots in Week 5: Manning again didn’t throw an interception, but he had to throw 44 times because his team committed 3 turnovers. He fumbled on a sack. QB Tom Brady got his team to a 17-7 halftime lead and dominated possession with 36 minutes as RB Stevan Ridley had a career-high 151 yards rushing. Manning was sacked twice and hit 5 times.
Even when Manning was leading the Indianapolis Colts, the formula to beating him was similar. In a 2004 AFC title game loss to the Patriots 24-14, he was sacked 4 times and threw 4 interceptions. He lost the possession battle as the Colts held the ball 28 minutes vs. 32.
In a division playoff game the next season, Manning’s Colts fell to the Patriots 20-3. He only had 1 interception but they had 3 turnovers as he had to throw 42 times. Manning trailed 13-3 in the third quarter. The Patriots held the ball 38 minutes.