The Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens faced off in Week 4 of last season, their first matchup of the 2020s. The Broncos entered that game 3-0 on the season, facing a 2-1 Ravens unit. But both teams left the game 3-1, as the Broncos’ offense put up just 7 points in what became the first part of a 4 game losing streak. It was the beginning of the unraveling of the Broncos’ 2021 season.
Barring the unexpected, it’s likely fair to anticipate a similar outcome from this Sunday’s contest. Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater combined for just 178 yards, 1 TD, & 1 INT on 37 passing attempts, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising for Russell Wilson’s basic stat line to look pretty similar tomorrow. On the Ravens’ side, Lamar Jackson threw for 316 yards & 1 TD on the same number of attempts. Given the contrasting mix of backups & talented starters playing on Denver’s defense, that feels like a pretty good ballpark for Jackson as well.
Latavius Murray, then a Raven, recorded the only rushing TD of the game, with 10:24 to go in the 2nd quarter. Given the rather unimpressive rushing attack the Ravens have fielded in 2022, there’s a decent chance he may be the only player with a rushing attack in this matchup for 2 years in a row. He’s added a TD to his season total in 3 of his 6 games as arguably the best part of the Broncos’ own anemic rushing attack, so I’d say the odds are around 50/50.
Speaking of Latavius Murray, 18 rushing yards against his old team will see him take over Melvin Gordon’s spot as the team’s leading rusher on the season. He’s on pace to land right around 600 rushing yards in orange & blue this season.
Factors all over both rosters have this game set up to be a pretty close repeat of how it played out last season. And if that happens, the biggest difference will arguably be the Ravens leaving the game 8-4 and in the top spot in the AFC North while the Broncos fall to 3-9.
If the Broncos are going to flip this script, I feel like it’s going to have to come from the defense. Specifically, one or two defenders will need to ball out personally, forcing turnovers and giving the offense easy points.