The takeaway from Denver’s 24-7 defeat was that the Broncos aren’t at the same level as the elite teams of the NFL. It was an issue that was being pointed out by everyone. A 3-0 team whose opponents were a collective 0-9? They had not played anyone yet, and it showed.
It was eye opening to see the numbers that Lamar Jackson put up against a defense that many of us have been pointing to as a reason Denver would be competitive. He complete 22 of 37 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens receiving corps isn’t exactly filled with world beaters. Denver’s secondary just couldn’t hang with them.
On the flip side, the Broncos struggles on offense demonstrated that this team is still a work in progress. Up against a well coached team, with Super Bowl aspirations, the limitations of the Broncos offense were on full display.
And while there was a bit of a drop off when Drew Lock went in after Teddy Bridgewater’s concussion, it wasn’t dramatic. As I told Ian St. Clair on the MHR Radio Podcast postgame show, I don’t think they would have been able to keep pace with Baltimore even if Bridgewater was able to stay in the game.
The Broncos punted ten times. If Sam Martin is spending that much time on the field, there are several questions that need to be answered by the offense. It wasn’t like the Ravens offense was just moving at will either. They punted 7 times, and were forced to settle for field goals on three occasions.
Immediately following the loss, it was easy to be disappointed. The Broncos looked like a team that was not quite ready for the elite competition in the NFL. The Ravens are a team that is considered a Super Bowl contender for a reason. The Broncos are not, for a reason.
It was disappointing to be brought back to reality. The loss made us all remember what it is like to watch the Broncos when the offense struggles. Now, with another tough opponent on the horizon, how will Denver respond.
While the Broncos will have a chance to bounce back, they have a long way to go to prove they can compete with the NFL elite.