Fun weekend ahead for pro football fansJan 11, 2013 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
During the National Football League regular season, I predicted the Baltimore Ravens would win the Super Bowl this year.
Don't worry, Denver Broncos fans, I don't think I have ever been right on my Super Bowl predications.
I'm at least glad the Ravens somehow managed to get into the playoffs, but I want it to end on Saturday vs. Denver.
I would have been embarrassed if Baltimore would have been eliminated last week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Baltimore was fired up to the play the Colts last week in the wild card game because of the return of linebacker Ray Lewis.
Lewis had been out with an injury and last week announced that this playoff run would be his "last ride" before he retires.
Lewis is a great player and is a future Hall of Fame player, but one player doesn't make the team.
The thing that scares me about the Ravens is they are one of the better-balanced teams in the league.
The Ravens have a great running game with Ray Rice leading the way. Quarterback Joe Flacco is a decent quarterback, but not a great one. He hasn't won the big game yet in the playoffs in his career.
Saturday won't be easy for the Broncos, but they are rested after having a week off with a No. 1 seed for the playoffs.
Denver is on a roll. The turning point of the season came when the Broncos found some magic in the second half against the San Diego Chargers and came all the way back for the victory after being 24 points behind.
Behind the arm of quarterback Peyton Manning and the solid defense, the Broncos have steamrolled into the postseason. Manning has lived up to the hype he created during the offseason when he picked the Broncos as his team after the Colts let him go.
Manning is on a mission this year. He wants another Super Bowl ring.
Denver linebacker Von Miller has eyes on his first Super Bowl ring. Miller has to be considered for defensive MVP with the type of season he has put together.
Veteran cornerback Champ Bailey is my favorite player on the Broncos. Bailey is the man that has to shut down the opponent's best receiver week in and week out.
Bailey has been through the wars before. He knows what it takes to get to the big game, and he doesn't want the season to end Saturday. He wants to enjoy the ride with Manning all the way into the Super Bowl.
Denver running back Knowshon Moreno has stepped up the ground game after being inactive in the first part of the regular season.
It was a big loss when starting running back Willis McGahee went out with an injury in the latter part of the season, but Moreno has proved he still has something left when it looked like his career was finished.
Moreno was a big factor in the first game with Ravens during the regular season, and he will be a huge player on Saturday in the postseason. Moreno needs to hang on to the football and run for at least 100 yards to keep Denver a balanced team.
I know the Super Bowl is a month away, but the dream matchup for me would be the Broncos playing the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have a tough road with a date this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers, but I believe Green Bay will get the job done.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a fierce competitor. He has won the Super Bowl before.
Rodgers won't let a game in San Francisco scare him. If the Packers can get past the 49ers then they will be a step closer to the big game.
It usually takes an elite quarterback to get to the Super Bowl, and Denver has one under center this year.
What ever happens this month is going to be a fun one if you are a NFL football fan.