Originally written on Chicks in the Huddle  |  Last updated 9/5/13
It’s been a long, desperate offseason of forcing myself to watch home makeover shows, Law and Order:SVU marathons and replays of Super Bowl XLIV…just to get through the day. But now, finally…FINALLY…NFL football is back. And none of that preseason crap. It’s the real deal, baby! The Super Bowl Champion Ravens take the field tonight against the still very bitter Denver Broncos. It’s a can’t miss match up for all the right reasons. Will Flacco Flake Out? After winning the big one, Ravens QB Joe Flacco finally got the paycheck he always thought he deserved. But will he be able to live up to the high expectations set for him? Some have suggested Flacco’s epic playoff run was more of a fluke than proof that he’s an elite quarterback. So once again, he’ll have to go up against one of the greats to prove himself. Are the Ravens Still the Ravens without Ray Lewis? Joe Flacco is the official face of the team but will he be able to fill the gaping hole left behind when the Ravens lost its heart and soul…Ray Lewis? Ray’s on the field production may not have been as prolific in his latter years, but there is no denying that he brought an energy and swag to the Ravens that kept them in the hunt year after year. With Ray gone and Ed Reed, the Ravens defense will have to rely on other veteran voices to lead them to glory. But none of them do The Squirrel…so do they even count? Peyton’s Revenge I wouldn’t be surprised if Peyton Manning spent the entire offseason in the fetal position clutching a bottle of Jack Daniels given how last season ended. His team was number one in the AFC and, if not for a miracle last minute play, were about to advance to the AFC Championship. It happened in Peyton’s comeback year…in HIS house. He’s stronger this time around and healthier. And you better believe that in between the tears, he found time to watch an unending loop of game tape to make sure what happened at Mile High never happens again. Not that it was on him, but Manning is a born leader and he is willing to do whatever it takes to coach up players on both sides of the ball. He knows the road to the Super Bowl this year starts with vengeance in Baltimore. Nola Chick’s Prediction: Broncos 28 Ravens 20
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ukwuachu rape victim hires firm that prosecuted Winston

Leo Santa Cruz tops Abner Mares in slugfest

WATCH: Beckham makes great grab over Revis

SEC commissioner wrote classy note to injured Arkansas RB

John Daly taken to hospital after collapsing on course

Rex Ryan keeping Bills' starting quarterback a secret

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Braves fan dies after falling from upper deck

Randall Cobb suffers shoulder injury vs. Eagles

WATCH: John Harbaugh, Jay Gruden get into shouting match

WATCH: Brian Hartline drags toes on great TD catch

Julio Jones, Falcons agree on 5-year contract extension

WATCH: Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion blasts three homers, extends hit streak

WATCH: Ricardo Mayorga taunts Shane Mosley in ring, loses

Will Jimmer Fredette find success with Spurs?

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

American Pharoah upset at Travers Stakes

Steve Smith joins family in stands after getting ejected from game

WATCH: Cordarrelle Patterson rips off 107-yard return TD

Steve Sarkisian giving up most of USC's playcalling duties

Animal shelter cancels fundraiser at Heinz Field

Mets acquire RP Addison Reed from Diamondbacks

WATCH: James Rodriguez scores unreal goals

Vin Scully: I believe next year will be my last

Charles Barkley wants to blow his former agent’s brains out

The Texas Rangers are firing on all cylinders

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker