Ravens complain refs favor Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning wasn’t his usual remarkable self when the Denver Broncos visited the Baltimore Ravens in December. In fact, Peyton Manning has struggled to retain his former form all season long. But Peyton Manning still managed to cap a decisive 34-17 victory, while throwing for 204 passing yards and one touchdown in his last matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Based on past experience and a 0-9 record against Peyton Manning, dating back to his Indianapolis Colts days, the Baltimore Ravens don’t expect victory to come easily for them on Saturday’ rematch at the Sports Authority Field.
"I don't know," Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said this week, as he lines up for the last time against Peyton Manning. "You always got to bring in the numbers and the fact that we are 0-9 against Peyton. That number really sticks out in our head.”
"But it's playoffs and we play well in the playoffs,” continued Terrell Suggs, “so we're going to do everything we can to make sure it's a different outcome."
However, the Baltimore Ravens’ preparations focus on one unusual feature of Peyton Mannings’ game compared to the other elite NFL quarterbacks. The Baltimore Ravens will be looking out against giving Peyton Manning any unnecessary excuses for having them flagged since the Super Bowl MVP and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have built a reputation of complaining to the referees and often getting their way.
"It's known that they're going to complain or if they get thrown down and look at a ref they're going to get a flag thrown against the defense," said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. "We've seen that happen against us before with Tom Brady.
“We always teach the same rules, regardless of the quarterback: hit them in the strike zone,” added Brendon. “If you're within a step of his arm motion, hit him."
But opposing defenses have been only flagged once for roughing-up-the passer throughout this season against Peyton Manning. However, that lack of numbers lies in Peyton Mannings’ talents of quickly releasing the ball since Denver Broncos racked up the second lowest sacks (21) in the NFL this regular season.
Still, there is a general resentment towards Peyton Manning at Baltimore. Although the Baltimore Ravens weren’t flagged for roughing up the passer against the Denver Broncos in December, they are weary of Peyton Mannings’ complaints.
"Peyton Manning is one of the best of all time," said Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Ma'ake Kemoeatu. "We want to get in there and get him down. At the same time you have to try not to get a penalty for hitting Peyton Manning."
Baltimore Ravens fourth-year linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who developed emerged as a strong blitzer and a vital force on the defense also believed that quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers received more favoritism from the referees compared to other passers in NFL.
"You're aware of it when you're playing those guys," stated Dannell Ellerbe. "You can't go in there and take a stupid shot."