Preperations are officially underway for both teams heading into the Monday Night battle between the Ravens and Broncos. Let's take a look at the game from the other side, with some stories swirling around the Baltimore area --
*--The Baltimore Sun reports the Ravens are using the "line" as motivation. The Ravens were underdogs at home to the Chargers, and even after the win come in as 4 1/2 point dogs to the Broncos. Maybe Denver's 18-8-1 all time Monday Night Home Record could have something to do with it. Says Ravens Wideout Derrick Mason -
*--The Ravens could have done without THIS. The NFL's 2nd leading kick returner, B.J. Sam was arrested and charged with DUI, the second such arrest for Sam in the past 14 months. It is unknown at this time whether or not Sam is in the League's Substance Abuse program or if a suspension is upcoming. The Ravens had this to say -
*--The Ravens are feeling the hurt along their Offensive Line as well, placing 8-year starter Edwin Mulitalo on Injured Reserve with a torn Right Triceps Tendon, ending his season. Jason Brown, a 4th round draft pick in 2005 will replace Mulitalo in the starting lineup. Brian, Billick, ever the optimist, had this to say --
*--In a refreshing take on the Ravens, Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston admits, hey, it is better to be lucky then good. The Ravens have taken advantage of coaching mis-cues the past couple of weeks to remain undefeated, but you have to believe that won't happen on Monday Night. Preston talks of some of that luck --
And then there is the weird stuff, like San Diego botching two field-goal attempts, or the usually conservative Browns coach Romeo Crennel gambling for a touchdown pass late in the game that backfired. In the same game, the Ravens were fortunate enough to have the wind in the fourth quarter to aid Matt Stover in kicking a game-winning, 52-yard field goal.
Things are really starting to rev up for this big contest, and I'm sure we are going to hear something from former Broncos Mike Anderson and Trevor Pryce....