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Broncos at Ravens preview: Denver in for East Coast shellacking

The Broncos head to Baltimore as massive underdogs to a team that just lost to the Jaguars. Here. We. Go.

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The more things change, the more the Denver Broncos stay the same.

At this point, nothing changes with this franchise. The pieces are interchanged, but the failure remains.

For the third time under a first-year head coach, the Broncos are 3-8. And now Denver faces a Baltimore Ravens team that just lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sunday should be fun (sarcasm font). At least the game kicks off at 11 a.m. MT so we get it out of the way.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Broncos as massive +8.5-point underdogs. Like the record, Denver is 3-8 against the spread this season. The total for Sunday’s game sits at 38.5. The under is 10-1 in Broncos’ games this season, largely because the offense is flaming garbage, which is an insult to flaming garbage.

Offensive Rankings

Denver: Twenty-fifth in overall offense (319.1 yards per game), 24th in rushing (104.3), 20th in passing (214.8), 32nd in scoring offense (14.3 points per game).

Baltimore: Eleventh in overall offense (356.1 yards per game), second in rushing (162.7), 26th in passing (193.4), ninth in scoring offense (25.0 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Denver: Third in overall defense (306.4 yards per game), 19th in rushing defense (121.6), third in passing defense (184.7), third in scoring defense (17.6 points per game).

Baltimore: Fifteenth in overall defense (335.8 yards per game), second in rushing defense (82.0), 27th in passing defense (253.8), 12th in scoring defense (20.6 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Take away Nathaniel Hackett’s headset

He doesn’t call plays. He needs help with clock and game management, which hasn’t really improved, so take the final step and just remove his headset. Everyone knows he’s gone, so stop with the charade. — Ian St. Clair


Score points. What a novel concept, but yes, score more points than the Ravens and good things will happen. Of course, scoring points is something the Nathaniel Hackett scheme just doesn’t know how to do, so I suspect we’ll be racking up L number 8 of 9 this week. — Tim Lynch

Switch things up

Dre’Mont Jones gets at least 15 snaps at quarterback. No kicking of any kind, except kickoffs which are all onside. Basically, play 8-year-old on Madden rules. Get Brandon McManus some reps at literally any other position. Do play calls by fan vote via Twitter. Go nuts. — Mike DeCicco

Progress on third down

I’m going to keep the bar low this week. There’s no way they win the game, so let’s shoot for them to accomplish at least one moral victory. With how often Hackett talks about their failures on third down, maybe it’s time for them to actually make some progress in that category. I’ll be happy if they can covert 40% of third downs this game. I might be happy enough to settle for 35%, but that might still be asking for too much. — Ross Allen

There are no keys

The fact that we can’t look at this team and take any of this seriously is incredibly disappointing. Watch the game. Expect them to lose. If they win it will be like a little infusion of joy into your life. If they lose, shrug your shoulders and walk away. I don’t like it any more than you do, but to keep your sanity for the remainder of the season, just try this. And stop looking at the Seahawks 1st round pick from the Broncos. It’s a sunk cost. It won’t come back, so move on. — Adam Malnati

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?