Suggs vs. Manning In Thunderous Kickoff Promo
Thursday night can't come quick enough.
And these NBC kickoff game promos featuring Terrell Suggs and Peyton Manning are amping up the excitement.
Suggs, with his intimidating facemask and tinted visor, comes face-to-face with Manning with a thunderous storm brewing above the stadium.
"Last year, Peyton Manning's championship dreams were cut short by the Ravens," the promo starts in that "Voice of God" tone. "The Super Bowl champion Ravens take on the Broncos … in a playoff rematch."
One of the more anticipated elements of the game will be watching a healthy Suggs chase down the 37-year-old quarterback. Coming off a torn Achilles tendon injury, Suggs sacked Manning twice and added a quarterback hit during the divisional playoff game last season.
And he looooves to disappoint Broncos fans.
Cameras caught Suggs beefing with fans behind the Ravens bench last year.
"We love being the bad guys," he yelled at them during the divisional game. "You know what they say when they see us? They point at us and say, 'Those are the bad guys.'"
This year, Suggs will have former Bronco Elvis Dumervil on the opposite side salivating to knock down his former teammate.
Thursday night will be the first time we see this newly-combined fearsome duo together in regular-season action. Just how good can they be?
"We'll find out," Head Coach John Harbaugh said during training camp. "As far as making some broad statement about what it means, we'll find out when the games start getting played for real.
"That's when we'll find out if it's what we hoped for. They're both the real deal. Suggs is rushing the passer better than I've seen in the time I've been here. And obviously, Elvis Dumervil is as good as advertised."
While Manning isn't anywhere near the fastest or most mobile quarterback in the NFL, he is never easy to bring down because he knows how to get rid of the ball.
"Manning will win few footraces on a football field, but he is one of the quickest decision makers among NFL quarterbacks," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel. "His understanding of defenses also allows him to get the ball to his playmakers at the right time. And if his first read isn't there, he processes his progressions like a Macbook, as former Ravens safety Bernard Pollard put it last season."
The "Kickoff Game" may be the NFL's second-biggest stage, and the entire nation will be watching to see just how well the champs reloaded their roster.
It's time to move on from the incessant chatter and questions surrounding them: What will Joe Flacco do for an encore? Are the receivers good enough? Can the defense be better after losing six starters, including future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed?
Harbaugh put it best when he said, "Maybe people think we're out of bullets … so we'll find out."
Check out the NBC videos below (mobile users tap the "View in Browser" button). The first highlights the Suggs vs. Manning showdown. The second gives a sneak peek at the newly sung Sunday Night Football anthem, performed by pop country star Carrie Underwood.
Nobody Knows What's Up With Jones. How To Replace Him?
Just what defensive end Arthur Jones is dealing with is a big mystery.
"John Harbaugh said it wasn't serious, but here we are," Vensel tweeted after Jones was officially ruled out for Week 1 with an "illness."
"Art had an issue," Harbaugh said last week. "It's not football-related. I'm going to leave it to Art to explain what it was. It's more of a personal health thing that's not serious."
Regardless of what the illness is, the Ravens will need to make up for his absence.
It is believed that newly-signed Marcus Spears will start in place of Jones. The Ravens could also opt to move Haloti Ngata outside and start Terrence Cody at nose tackle, explained Vensel.
"There won't be a downgrade in run defense with the stout Spears, but Jones provides more of a pass rush," ESPN's Jamison Hensley wrote. "With Jones out, the Ravens defense will likely have seven different starters from their lineup in the Super Bowl."
For more information on the Ravens' health status heading into Week 1, here ya go.
O's Win Critical For Both Birds
Obviously with the Ravens season opener upon us, it also means the Orioles are beginning their home stretch against the Chicago White Sox.
It's the game that prevented the Ravens from opening at home as all Super Bowl champs do. Of course, the Ravens have moved on and see the value in starting the season on the road fully rested against one of the AFC's toughest teams.
But that doesn't mean all Baltimore fans will see it the same way, and WBAL's Gerry Sandusky is hoping for a happy ending for everyone.
"O's win streak pivotal this week," Sandusky tweeted. "Don't want fans complaining Ravens aren't home and O's are. Win streak keeps town excited for both teams."
Can't-Miss 'America's Game' Segment
If you didn't catch "America's Game" on the NFL Network last night, we'll have a large chunk (34 min. or so) of the episode posted on our website today.
Honestly, it was VERY, VERY good.
It is one of the more transparent looks into the season, where Harbaugh, Flacco and Ray Lewis share personal emotions of the season and talk about some sensitive topics. Two different sideline spats between Flacco and Harbaugh and Cam Cameron were highlighted. Flacco admitted he had no idea why he checked down to Ray Rice on the fouth-and-29 in San Diego. There was Lewis' suggestion that the blackout wasn't an accident (after viewing it myself, I'm not sure how serious he was). And of course, you get jacked up all over again as you watch the Ravens overcome ridiculous obstacles to win the Super Bowl.
"'America's Game' on @nflnetwork is goin pretty hard right now, def gettin a lil fired up!" tweeted kicker Justin Tucker.
To whet your appetite, here's the segment of the show that details the infamous "mutiny" meeting and Harbaugh's thoughts on how it helped his team for the better. (Mobile users, you know the drill.)
- @RavensInsider: LaQuan Williams reverted to reserve-injured from waived-injured after going unclaimed [Twitter]
- @mzenitz Carroll County Times]: All signs obviously point towards [Dickson being a full-go against the Broncos Thursday [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: #Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams has a boot on his right foot. Likely to miss an extended time. [Twitter]
- @MikeGarafolo Fox Sports]: [No pads for CB Champ Bailey here at Broncos practice today. [Twitter]
- @BaltimoreLuke WNST]: #Ravens linebacker [John Simon!(/team/roster/john-simon/24e9c46a-0b38-4e3e-8e8f-1c21c89c0115/ "John Simon") is now wearing No. 94 after he wore No. 47 in the spring and preseason. [Twitter]
- @MaryKayCabot Cleveland Plain Dealer]: Cleveland Browns will try out Pro Bowl kickers Dan Carpenter [and Billy Cundiff Tuesday in Berea [Twitter]
- @RavensInsider: Former Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura placed on injured reserve [Twitter]
- @mzenitz: New Ravens LB Robert James acknowledged that he was brought in primarily to contribute on special teams [Twitter]
- @ryanmink: @jtuck9 is clutch, even at cornhole. Hit the game-winning shot in comeback and yelled out that the needle froze last time he gave blood. [Twitter]