Ravens Ride

Updated: Sep 27, 2018

A game categorized by dichotomy, this AFC showdown started off in looking like a classic shootout and slowly deteriorated into a sloppy defensive brawl.


The first quarter was an action-packed affair with a total of 24 points being scored giving the Broncos a 14-10 lead. A blocked punt set Royce Freeman up for a 6-yard touchdown run and Emmanuel Sanders scored his first career rushing touchdown on an explosive 35-yard end around. Joe Flacco and Alex Collins were able to lead the Ravens down the field to score on 2 out their 3 drives of the quarter.


(Sept. 23, 2018 - Source: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images North America)


Unfortunately for the Broncos, their hot start went on a downward spiral after the first quarter. The Ravens scored 10 unanswered points aided by the Broncos self-inflicted wounds which included a nullified Chris Harris Jr. touchdown on blocked field goal due to a block in the back penalty, and the ejection of Phillip Lindsay for throwing a punch.


The Ravens scored once again at the 7:29 mark of the 3rd quarter. The drive was a group effort including touches by 7 different skill position players and ending in a 1-yard Buck Allen touchdown giving the Ravens a 27-14 lead.

(Sept. 23, 2018 - Source: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images North America)


Turnovers, good defense and sloppy penalties resulted in no scoring for the remainder of the game ending the Broncos streak of 4th quarter comebacks and placing both teams at 2-1.


Takeaways


In a broad sense the game was statistically very close in all but two areas; penalties and turnovers. The Broncos committed 13 penalties, a loss of a whopping 120 yards, while the Ravens penalties only accumulated for 53 lost yards. A 4th and 1 offensive “12 men on the field penalty” with 3:40 left on the Ravens 6-yard line is an example of an inexcusable and game changing penalty that the Broncos coaching staff deserves harsh criticism for. Case Keenum’s interception at the Baltimore 15-yard line with 9:17 left was also a backbreaking Bronco’s mistake. Although it was no incredible performance, the Ravens did exactly what they needed to do to win. The defense played well and the offense’s ability to spread the ball to all its talented players was evident.

(Sept. 23, 2018 - Source: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images North America)


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