There is a common misperception when it comes to the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens. That misperception -- embedded even deeper in the Broncos' faithful psyche by the recent painful playoff loss -- is that the Ravens have owned the Broncos in their last several meetings. This is not really true. It is true that during the McDaniels era (I'll be nice and not call it a fiasco) Baltimore won twice and outscored Denver by a combined score of 61-24. However, the Broncos have gone 3-2 in the last five meetings between the two teams with wins in 2005, 2006 and 2012 to go with losses in 2009 and 2010.
The first of those five games occurred in 2005. Denver hosted Baltimore on Week 14. It was a low-scoring affair which the Broncos won to improve their record to 10-3-0. The Broncos had built a 12-3 lead with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. The Ravens threatened in the fourth quarter, driving to the Denver one-yard line before stalling out on fourth and one at the Broncos' one. The teams exchanged fumbles before the Ravens drove 93 yards for a touchdown with just under two minutes left. Denver was able to run out the clock to secure the win.
The second game came in the following season when the Broncos again hosted Baltimore, this time on Week 5. The score was tied 3-3 early in the fourth quarter when the Broncos drove down to the Ravens' 25-yard line and kicked a field goal for a 6-3 lead. The next Baltimore possession ended with an interception. This allowed Denver to burn almost six minutes off the clock with a touchdown drive. The Ravens' hope for any kind of comeback was killed when their second interception in the quarter gave the ball back to the Broncos with 0:53 left. Denver ran out the clock for the win.
The third and fourth games in this most recent set of five games are what have given rise to the perception that the Ravens own the Broncos. The teams met in Baltimore on Week 8 of the 2009 season and then again in Baltimore on Week 5 of the 2010 season. Both games were seeming blow-outs -- based on the final score.
The reality is that Denver was in the first game, but had to play catch up in the second. In the 2009 game, the Broncos had fallen behind 13-0 by the third quarter. They closed the gap to 13-7 but a Baltimore field goal opened the gap to 16-7. Then Denver made two fatal mistakes. It had looked like the Broncos were going to be able to stop the Ravens at their own 47-yard line, but a defensive penalty on the final play of the third quarter and a second defensive penalty on the first play of the fourth gave Baltimore new life and they marched down for a touchdown and a 23-7 lead. Denver had three more possessions in the fourth quarter but could only muster two punts and a drive from the Denver 20-yard line to the Baltimore 28-yard line that ended when time ran out.
The Ravens dominated the 2010 meeting between the teams. The Broncos fell behind 17-0 in the second quarter and trailed 17-7 by the end of three. The Ravens managed to burn the last 6:46 of the third quarter then scored on the second play of the fourth quarter to take a 24-7 lead. Denver was able to close the gap to 24-10 but another six minute drive by the Ravens ended with a touchdown that made it 31-10. After an exchange of punts, the Broncos put together a six-play, 90-yard drive for a score to make it 31-17. After a failed on-side kick, Baltimore ran out the last thirty-five seconds to secure the victory.
Denver got back on the winning side of the matchup in their most recent, regular season meeting. This one came in Baltimore on Week 15 of the 2012 season. This game was a complete domination by the Broncos. The first half saw the Broncos gain 11 first downs to Baltimore's 4. Denver out-rushed the Ravens 93-41 -- passing yards were very close with the Broncos holding an 80-78 edge. The backbreaker for Baltimore came when, trailing 10-0, the Ravens drove to a 1-4-DEN4 with 0:30 left, Chris Harris stepped in front of a pass intended for Anquan Boldin at the DEN2 and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead. The Broncos added fourteen points in the third quarter to take a 31-3 lead. After Baltimore made it 31-10 in the fourth quarter, Denver ran a 14-play, 62-yard drive the ended in a field goal, but more importantly, burned over nine minutes off the clock. The game ended with Denver getting consecutive sacks of Joe Flacco -- one by Robert Ayers and one by Elvis Dumervil.
Overall, Denver is 4-5-0 in the regular season versus the Ravens and 0-2 in the postseason. How do you like the Broncos chances in September?