DENVER — The Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens are currently facing off in the AFC Divisional Round, in a game that looks to be the game of the season in the NFL thus far.
Coming into this matchup, the main storylines were the final game in the Peyton Manning-Ray Lewis rivalry, as Lewis has stated his intention to return at the conclusion of the season, and the ability for Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning to perform in the cold weather in Denver – as it was 16 degrees at kickoff and Manning has played the majority of his career under the Lucas Oil Stadium and RCA domes with the Indianapolis Colts.
However, Manning and Lewis have been overshadowed by dynamic Denver Broncos kick returner Trindon Holliday, who has returned one punt and one kickoff for touchdowns today.
Holliday’s performance has been a key part of Denver’s attack today, as he is directly responsible for 14 Broncos points.
Throughout this season, Holliday has established himself as one of the better kick returners in the NFL, although this clutch performance against a very skilled Ravens special teams unit puts him in elite territory.
Will Holliday be able to carry Denver to a victory and a berth in the AFC Championship?
Possibly, but Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio needs to figure out a way to neutralize Ravens WR Torrey Smith, who has beaten Denver’s future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey for two touchdowns so far.
Ultimately, if the Broncos remain efficient offensively and are able to keep Smith contained, Denver should be able to come away with the victory and earn their first berth in the AFC Championship Game since 2006.
As of this writing, it is tied at 28 all at the end of the third quarter. The game is on CBS.