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How do the Broncos match up with the Ravens?

Baltimore Beatdown’s Spencer Schultz and I dug into the tape to find out.

After feasting on the dregs of the league to start the season, the Denver Broncos will face the first true test to their mettle in week four. To call the Baltimore Ravens a challenge is putting it lightly. Before it’s all said and done they may just be the class of the AFC and there are x-factors littered across all three phases of the matchup that could decide the contest.

To get a better idea as to how the Broncos can make a statement win, I spoke with Baltimore Beatdown’s Spencer Schultz on this week’s Cover 2 Broncos. These are the things I asked him:

Offense

  • Will Rashod Bateman or Miles Boykin play?
  • Does Ronnie Stanley play?
  • Counter Bash is something most Broncos fans haven’t really seen. The Ravens run a clinic on it. How does it work, and why is it so dangerous?
  • One of the things that really makes the Ravens run game dangerous is how they’re so good at outnumbering the point of attack out of a wide variety of personnel groupings. It’s a stress on every role player on the roster because Jackson can house it from anywhere. How would you attack the Broncos defense on the ground?
  • Lamar Jackson’s passing game - Teams run a ton of cover three against the Ravens and Roman has tried and true beaters. What comes to mind?
  • Losing Ronnie Stanley has meant Alejandro Villanueva moved to LT and the RT is Patrick Mekari.

Villanueva is a former Steeler - what do you think of his switch from right to left so far?

Mekari is a bit of an unknown to Broncos Country, but he started 8 games in 2020 and 5 as a rookie. - He hasn’t stood out to me in a bad way, but I haven’t been focused on him. How will the Ravens protect him from Von Miller?

The Ravens’ counter bash concept is going to be a huge chore for the Broncos’ defense.
Terrance Banks / USA Football

DEFENSE

  • Will Justin Madabuike, Derek Wolfe, Justin Houston, or Jaylon Ferguson play?
  • Wink Martindale is probably the most aggressive DC in the league and the Broncos are going to see a lot of overloads, blitzes, simulated pressure, and a variety of coverage behind it.
  • Losing Marcus Peters really hurts. What is the status for Deshone Elliott?
  • I’ve written “44” in my notes a few times. Marlon Humphrey is really standing out in what I’ve seen. He’s followed Waller around and has little issue playing big bodies, so he’s a good matchup for Sutton and Patrick. What are your thoughts on him?
  • Malik Harrison looks like a potential mark for Fant and Okwuegbunam.
  • How do you feel about the other matchups in the passing game?
  • Tyus Bowser’s use is quite interesting as he’s used between the tackles a decent bit. He’s among the best edge rushers in coverage, and he’s a good player on games.

How do you expect Bowser to see the field against Denver?

  • Campbell is better than advertised at this point in his career.
  • How has Derek Wolfe looked when he’s played?
  • Queen can get overwhelmed by lineman coming at him, but he’s a good space player. Can the Broncos attack him?
  • Broncos may not have Dalton Risner or Graham Glasgow in this game, which means Netane Muti (3rd start) and/or potentially Quinn Meinerz (25 offensive snaps in NFL career). Let’s just say the rush games concern me. How do you expect Wink to attack them?

Special Teams

  • The Broncos have been bad on special teams since before Tom McMahon was the coordinator in 2018, but he sure hasn’t done anything to make them better. Are there any ways you expect the Ravens to press this advantage?