By Samuel Njoku
The last time the Baltimore Ravens played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, they shocked the world as they defeated the Broncos 38-35 in the divisional round of the post-season. The stakes may not be as high this time, but the Broncos would still love a little payback. Due to a scheduling conflict between the NFL and MLB, the Ravens will begin their championship defense on the road against the team that many thought would hoist the Lombardi trophy last season. And for many players on the Denver sideline that day, the loss suffered in January still stings.
“Yeah, I could’ve gotten the sack and I didn’t,” former Broncos and current Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil told reporters on Sunday. “Me personally, I feel like I could’ve rushed better, and it hurts every time I watch it, even being here [now]. So, it’s definitely something that as a player you want to make a difference. So me being a Raven now, I want to make sure I make a difference. You see what I’m saying?”
The sack Dumervil was referring to was the one that Flacco just barely escaped before releasing the bomb to Jacoby Jones that would tie the game with just seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. While guys like Dumervil are willing to talk about the loss now, others like Peyton Manning are less than thrilled to do so.
“I covered that just about all offseason,” Peyton Manning replied when asked about the loss to Baltimore last season. “I know I’m talking to you guys for the first time, but I guess you just have to probably check some old clips for quotes.”
Broncos head coach John Fox had similar sentiments when the subject was brought up. “Last year is last year. One of the exciting things about opening the season is you’ve got to open the day of a whole new season. Everybody is 0-0, and you start fresh. I guess you’d say that’s water under the bridge.”
Both Baltimore and Denver will look to move on from the events that took place just nine months ago. But it’s clear that the Broncos have something to prove heading into this game. But that may hold doubly true for Elvis Dumervil who was released from the Broncos due to the infamous “fax fiasco” that occurred during the offseason. If you ask Dumervil about it, he’ll tell you his play on the field on Thursday will have nothing to do with the Broncos.
“You have to prove yourself year-in and year-out, and that’s what I have to do,” stated Dumervil. “It’s not about any particular team or any particular organization. That’s the great thing about the NFL. Whenever you have an opportunity to prove yourself, I think you should take full advantage of it. So, I’m looking forward to that.”
Both teams have a lot to prove heading into week 1 of the regular season. Will the Broncos show the world that they’re the better team? Or will the Ravens show everyone that the Super Bowl hangover is merely a myth? Both questions will likely be answered to some degree on Thursday.
For more news and updates, visit Baltimore Ravens Central.
Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.