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Scouting the enemy: Baltimore Ravens

Broncos are on pace to have one of the worst offenses since 2000, but can they pull out a victory over the Ravens?

Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos met in a Week 4 match-up last year and the Ravens destroyed the Broncos with a 23-7 win. Lamar Jackson put up 344 total yards and a touchdown in the win, and future Bronco Latavius Murray also had a touchdown. Teddy Bridgewater went out of the game early and Drew Lock came in and did not play well - just 113 yards and one interception. As we’ve become accustomed to, the Broncos' offense could not do anything.

The Ravens were all over Lock and Bridgewater, producing five sacks and allowing the Broncos just three third down conversions out of 14 tries.

Ravens offseason moves

Key gains: OT Morgan Moses, DT Michael Pierce, S Marcus Williams

Key losses: WR Sammy Watkins, RB Latavius Murray, WR Marquise Brown

2022 NFL Draft: round one: (14) S Kyle Hamilton, (25) OC Tyler Linderbaum; round two: (45) OLB David Ojabo; round three: (76) DT Travis Jones; round four: (110) OT Daniel Faalele, (119) CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, (128) TE Charlie Kolar, (130) P Jordan Stout, (139) TE Isaiah Likely, (141) CB Damarion Williams; round six: (196) RB Tyler Badie

Ravens 2022 NFL season so far

The Ravens currently sit at 7-4 and are first in the AFC North. They’ve picked up wins against the Jets, Patriots, Bengals, Browns, Buccaneers, Saints, and Panthers. They also have lost to the Dolphins, Bills, Giants, and a shocking recent loss to the Jaguars. They have lost to good teams in all close games, with both the Bills and Jaguars needing to come back to win their games.

Offensively the Ravens are led by quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson has 2,231 yards for 17 touchdowns through the air, but he is also the Ravens leading rusher with 755 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Mark Andrews, the Ravens’ leading receiver, has 601 yards and five touchdowns so far.

Defensively the Ravens are led by their linebacker and defensive back rooms. Patrick Queen is the leading tackler with 76 along with four sacks. Roquon Smith, since being traded, has 20 tackles and one sack. Justin Houston has 16 tackles and nine sacks, while Odafe Oweh has 30 tackles and a single sack. The defensive back room includes Kyle Hamilton, Chuck Clark, Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Williams, and Geno Stone.

Tanner’s three keys to victory

  1. Contain Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews

As mentioned before, Jackson and Andrews are the leaders of the Ravens' offense, but have given the Broncos fits before. Denver has had issues guarding tight ends before, but if they are going to win they will have to contain Andrews. Jackson is obviously one of the top duel-threat quarterbacks. If the Broncos slow the passing game, Jackson can jsut take off on the run. So the Broncos defense will need to be ready for either threat.

2. Offense will need to be at least average

The Broncos' offense has been nothing short of horrible, averaging a league-worst 14.3 points per game, well below the NFL’s league average of 21.6 points. The Ravens top to bottom are a very talented team, and if the Broncos are going to win, the offense needs to be at least average.

3. Rush defense is key

The Broncos' rush defense has been average all year with a mix of some horrible games. Against the run, Denver has averaged allowing 121 yards per game. The Ravens' rushing attack is near the top with Kenyan Drake, Lamar Jackson, or whichever one of their multiple running backs they trot out. The Ravens will run all over this defense if it can’t figure out a way to slow the run.

Tanner’s prediction

One word is going to define this game - pain. It is going to be another long game as the Ravens slowly dominate the Broncos. Lamar Jackson is going to have an amazing game with more than 400 total yards and at least two touchdowns.

Broncos’ offense will not be able to do anything and will fail to move the ball. Outside of a few big plays, if the Broncos see over 250 total yards and a touchdown, they will be considered lucky.

Should also be mentioned that teams have a losing record after playing the Panthers, with only the Bengals winning after playing them.

Broncos will lose a slow, painful, long game, 28-7.