Peyton Manning praises Ed Reed, Ray Lewis of Ravens defense

The record says Peyton Manning knows how to beat the Baltimore Ravens. Still, it's clear the Broncos quarterback holds the Ravens defense in high regard.
Wednesday afternoon, Manning called Ed Reed the best safety of the last decade, praised the passion and intensity of linebacker Ray Lewis and said the Broncos face a major chore Sunday in Baltimore.

"They are an extremely tough team to play at home," Manning said. "They have had some injuries, like all teams do, but I know they have that next-man-up mentality. Defensively, they create a lot of turnovers and are extremely tough to score touchdowns against once you get in the red zone."

The Broncos are 0-5 against the Ravens in Baltimore, but Manning is 8-2 against the Ravens in his career and 4-2 in the six times he has faced the Ravens in Baltimore, including 1-0 in playoff games.

Regarding Reed, Manning said: "Ed Reed, in my opinion, is the best safety in the NFL and has been for this past decade. I could go on and on. He's got tremendous ball skills, tremendous range and (he is) a tremendous athlete."

Lewis, the longtime inspirational leader of the Ravens' defense, remains on the injured reserve-designated to return list with a surgically repaired right triceps. Lewis' status for Sunday's game remains a question mark.

"Ray's a tremendous player with a tremendous passion and that has not changed a bit since I first played against him in 1998," Manning said. "That's pretty impressive for a guy in his 17th year."

The Broncos are in pursuit of the AFC's No. 2 seed in the playoffs, but Manning said the Broncos (10-3) are not making too much of Sunday's game against the Ravens (9-4).

"It's the next game," he said. "I think we have done a good job of placing importance on every team we have played. We have focused on the moment. Certainly, Baltimore is a very easy team to grab your attention, especially when you are playing there."

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