Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/6/13
Media personnel tried to fight against rain, lightning and winds to promote the Super Bowl champion Ravens as the team to beat. Even Peyton Manning’s former head coach Tony Dungy managed to switch sides and hailed QB Joe Flacco as “the real deal”.But there were many lessons to learn from this lopsided win and the Bears would stand to chew on every morsel of what was witnessed at Mile High Stadium. Lesson No. 1: The quarterback leads his team with confidence. QB Peyton Manning was methodical in taking his time in the first half, learning the moves and play options of the Ravens' defense. By doing this, he led his team to seven touchdowns. His relationship to his offensive players was so tight that with a no huddle offense, each player was expected to be where the ball was and catch it. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler displayed in preseason that he can throw the ball around to different targets, but needs to develop a close relationship with them and trust that they will be there when he throws the ball.Lesson No. 2: Hold on to the ball as if your life depended on it. Several times during the game, Manning threw cannon passes that were incomplete due to the receiver's inability to hold on to the ball. However, it is crucial to hold on to the ball when headed to the end zone, a moment that Denver LB Danny Trevathan would love to take back.In his excitement in retrieving QB Joe Flacco’s interception and running for his first touchdown, Trevathan drops the ball in front of the end zone for a Ravens touchback. With so many starting rookies on the Chicago Bears' roster, it would be a good idea to drill it in their heads to keep any type of show-boating off the field.Lesson No. 3: Short passes and quick slants win the game.During the first half Manning studied the Ravens' new defense. He noticed they were gassed out faster than he expected and used that to his advantage by keeping the defense on the move. Cutler will be successful against power defenses by getting the ball out quickly with short passes, quick slants and will avoid throwing interceptions. The Bears will need to do this throughout the game as they seem to lose momentum in the second half. Lesson No. 4: Rub some dirt on adversity and play hard.There were many errors on both sides of the ball for the Broncos and the Ravens. Denver had two fumbles, eight penalty calls, an end zone debacle with many dropped passes. But as a team, moments of adversity should motivate them to play harder. Instead of the Bears collapsing in the second half of a game after a 27-point lead, Cutler needs to have a “rub some dirt on it” mentality, learn from those mistakes and finish the drive with a touchdown. Peyton Manning had a great game and should be proud of his achievements. It is still too early in the season to claim his right to the Super Bowl throne. But if the Chicago Bears' team did their homework and watched this game closely, they can achieve the same results against a tough schedule. 
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