Week 1 NFL Picks: Favorable Matchup Suggests Backing Broncos -4.5 to Cover Over Ravens

Joe Catalano

Friday, August 14, 2015 1:08 AM GMT

Friday, Aug. 14, 2015 1:08 AM GMT

This might be Peyton Manning's last chance to win that elusive 2nd Super Bowl as he and the Broncos host Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in what should be a competitive football game. The Broncos signed Demaryius Thomas to a large contract extension and with Emmanuel Sanders on the opposite side of the field and C.J. Anderson carrying the ball, the Broncos are still a very dangerous team.

Injuries Add Up
It's quite evident that no matter how much tape that Peyton Manning studies, he'll never be the same player that he once was as he's 39 years old and has had multiple neck surgeries. The one real noticeable thing about his game is that he doesn't have the same zip on the ball and he's more apt to throw the football away. Manning still managed 4727 yards throwing the ball last season to go along with 39 TD's and 15 INT's. He must cut down on the mistakes.

 

C.J. Anderson
Anderson might very well be the most important offensive player on the Denver Broncos. Last season, he took over for Montee Ball, who got injured, and was basically the Broncos go to back and was simply unstoppable.

Anderson accounted for almost 1200 yards rushing and receiving to go along with 10 TD's and this was in very limited time. If the Broncos are to give Manning another chance at the Lombardi Trophy, Anderson will need to be Manning's wingman just like Terrell Davis was John Elway's wingman.

Expect Anderson to be a major factor in this game as Manning integrates the rushing game along with seeking out Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

Last season, was Sanders' break out season and the Broncos are loaded at the wide reciever position. The only big change in the offense is the loss of Julius Thomas for Owen Daniels at tight end. Daniels is definitely servicebale and Manning will make him a better player as he does with every player he comes in contact with.

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Baltimore Losing Key Players
When you have the 21st pick in the draft in the form of Breshad Perriman taking over for a departed Torrey Smith, there's a decline. Especially, when Perriman has missed 10 consecutive practices due to injury.

Cool thinking QB, Joe Flacco, will need to be at his best this season as the ball will be distributed to Steve Smith Sr. and running back, Justin Forsett. This will be Smith Sr's last season as he's about to retire. I don't expect Flacco to have an easy time of it with DeMarcus Ware breathing down his neck. This isn't a favorable matchup for the Baltimore Ravens until they gel as a team in the regular season. There are too many question marks to back them with my NFL Pick.

NFL Pick- Denver Broncos -4.5 at 5Dimes

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