Cleat Geeks

Broncos Fall in Baltimore

 

Well, the team was likely not going to go undefeated. Now we know they won’t after a 27-14 loss in Baltimore. The Broncos dropped to 2-1, and the flaws that dogged them in a pair of close wins came home to roost in their first road game of the season. The team now has just a few days to get things cleaned up before they host the red hot Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. And after yesterday’s demonstration in Baltimore, there is plenty to clean up.

Things started well for the Broncos, who forced a three and out, including a big sack of Joe Flacco by rookie Bradley Chubb. On the ensuing punt, reserve linebacker Joe Jones blocked it, setting up a first and goal. And rookie Royce Freeman strolled in on the first carry of the game, giving Denver a 7-0 lead.

After the Ravens scored a touchdown on their next drive, the Broncos’ offense went back to work. The team finished an eight play, 70-yard drive with a 35-yard TD run from Emmanuel Sanders. That put the Broncos up 14-7, but was sadly the high point of the game for the team.

The Broncos later blocked a Justin Tucker field goal attempt, but the offense couldn’t get going. And penalties were a big reason why. The Broncos incurred 120 yards of penalties in the game, including a number of personal foul penalties. One of which was a personal foul on rookie running back Phillip Lindsay, which led to his ejection. He had just four carries and 20 yards prior to being ejected. And without him, the Broncos’ offense lacked some spark.

The defense also had its share of struggles. Adam “Pacman” Jones didn’t play, and during the game Tramaine Brock was injured. That left the Broncos secondary thin as they had only Chris Harris, Jr., Bradley Roby and rookie Isaac Yiadom at cornerback. That didn’t prove to be enough as Flacco was able to keep the offense moving enough to put points on the board, while the Ravens’ defense smothered the Broncos’ offense for the final three quarters.

John Brown caught five passes for 86 yards, while Michael Crabtree caught seven passes for 61 yards. And Javorius Allen scored a pair of touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) for the Ravens, who held on for the 27-14 victory. Now the Ravens prepare for their division rivals, the Steelers, on Sunday Night Football, while the Broncos will go back to the drawing board before meeting the 3-0 Chiefs.

News and Notes:

  • There were some questions about the final 53, namely fan-favorite players who were left off. One of those who made the cut was Jones, who did so on the basis of his great work on Special Teams. He continues to pay dividends, making several plays yesterday including the blocked punt to spark the Broncos’ offense early.
  • Freeman ran better on Sunday, arguably his best game so far. He ran hard on his 13 carries against a stout Ravens’ rush defense. He only recorded 53 yards, but I was encouraged by what I saw.
  • Demaryius Thomas bounced back well from a down game in Week 2. He caught all five of his targets for 63 yards and had another 39-yard play called back due to penalty. And he made some tough catches in traffic.
  • Quarterback Case Keenum has struggled to start the season. After a three-interception game in Week 1, he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in the past two games. But he has thrown an interception in each, now sitting with three TD passes and five INTs through three games. He had two TD passes reversed by officials in Week 2, and did add a rushing TD, but the Broncos need more consistent production. Sunday he threw for just 192 yards and was sacked three times in addition to his interception.
  • Von Miller was held without a sack for the first time this season. After three sacks on opening day, and one in Week 2, he was limited to just two tackles in the game against the Ravens.

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