I told you so....
I said back in January the Ravens didn't belong. I said that if not for a garbage pail full of luck we win that game going away. You can't go back and change anything, we lost, Baltimore parlayed their fortune into a world championship. But is there any doubt after tonight just how far apart these teams are? No Elvis Dumervil, no problem. No Von Miller, no problem. No Champ Bailey, no problem. If not for a mental error by LB Danny Trevathan, the Ravens do not find life at the end to inflate their score.
We are better, simple as that.
If you're Peyton Manning then yes. My God what a game, and he started off rusty in the 1st half as the offense struggled to build momentum. The final statline? 27-42 462 yards, 7 TD's. The magnificent 7. That's elite. The other guy? Well let's just say he's an average Joe.
My absolute favorite Manning TD of the night? On 3rd and 9 right before throwing a strike to DT on the right sideline he told the back (Hillman I think) "STAND THERE". Well, the spot he pointed to just happened to be in the path of the blitzer he had already identified. Love you Peyton!
He did get a sack on Peyton Manning. The Ravens pass rush managed to get some heat, but for the most part Peyton had enough time to pass the ball. Well Doom, enjoy playing on a defense with a pretty good pass rush but not much else. Really hope that extra 500K was worth it to you.
Running game sputters
21 rushes, 67 yards. Knowshon averaged 3.2 yards per carry. Ball 3.0 yards per carry. Hillman 3.75 yards per carry. Absolutely terrible. This is a pass first team, but hopefully we can get some better production. In fact we'll have to at some point.
Welcome to Denver Wes!
As it stands right now, Wes Welker is the only player in NFL history to have caught a TD pass from both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The value I saw in having Wes coupled with our receivers on the outside however is this: Huge checkdown running space for the RB's. Notice how we gouged the Ravens later in the 2nd half with simple checkdowns? Call this the Amoeba Passing game if you will. No matter what, we're going to get you somewhere--your choice as to where.
Welcome to Denver Shaun Phillips!
2.5 sacks and constant pressure. hell, throw in Robert Ayers and this pass rush looks to be decent until Von Miller gets back. I absolutely loved the effort Shaun brought all game and am happy he's a Bronco.
An Historic Performance
The Future is Now
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie absolutely shut out Torrey Smith. Torrey Smith got some garbage stats late in the game but mostly against Tony Carter. With all due respect to Champ Bailey, if DRC plays like this all season we're looking at our next #1. I'll even go out on the limb a bit and say that DRC and Chris Harris Jr. our the best corners we have on the roster. With Champ back, this secondary will be sick.
Duke Ihenacho was all over the field tonight. He led all Broncos defenders with 11 tackles. He is so fast at recognizing and diagnosing the play and gets there in a flash. He is going to be special.
Cheers, Rahim Moore!
Thank you for being such a class act, thank you for enduring the offseason you did, thank you for being a man and taking responsibility, thank you for continuing to work and get better. You have some swagger back and it is great to see! Rahim the Dream will become a nightmare to receivers over the middle, mark it Jack!
Julius Thomas #1
The kid is going to take his bumps. He dropped a ball early on when the Ravens defender laid a perfect hit on the ball, he blew a blocking assignment that got Peyton Manning sacked. He also was impossible to cover one on one by a LB or S and he absolutely blew up Terrell Suggs chipping him on the edge. He is a matchup nightmare, a good receiver and solid blocker. Just let him keep improving.
Wesley Woodyard #1
He's our Mike. When Von comes back, when other guys are healthy, he's our Mike. Wesley was in on so many plays throughout the game. He fits just fine here.
David Bruton, doin' his thang
I really hope David is going to be ok because his blocked punt is what triggered the route that was to come. He also had a great play on a delayed blitz out of the dime package where he hit Flacco's arm and knocked the pass into the thin Mile High air.
Defensive Line doin' their thang
Ray Rice had absolutely nowhere to run. They never established the running game and never were able to use playaction. Ray Rice had 36 yards on 12 carries and Bernard Pierce added 22 more on 9 carries. That's a grand total of 58 yards on 21 carries (2.8 per rush). Fantastic job!
Goat of the Game
Eric Decker played terribly. He dropped three or four passes including a sure TD. What is it about married guys that turns them into mush? Hopefully he shakes this off because he was the worst Bronco on the field tonight.
Goat of the Game #2
I hate doing this, because he had a hell of a game. Nah I won't. You guys know what I'm talking about. Remember Trindon Holliday doing the same last year and it was never reviewed? Last time he ever did it. Will be the same for Danny. Jumped the route beautifully and made a great play, just hold on to the damn ball. Take it to Fox next time huh?
Funny Moment of the game
After the botched pick 6 when the Ravens were rewarded possession at the 20 Cris Collinsworth said something like "Finally Baltimore has figured out how to gain a 1st down" ouch;)
Where to go from here
Enjoy the weekend and back to the grind. Week 1, that's it. We have 15 more to go until the tournament and a run to the Super Bowl. Scary thing is, we still have nowhere to go but up. Just do me a favor Broncos--pay your f!#@# parking tickets ok?
Goodnight Broncos Country, that was one hell of a game!