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5 things to watch during the Broncos vs. the Ravens game

I give you five things to watch during the game between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens.

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

Later today, the 3-8 Denver Broncos will head east to take on Lamar Jackson and the 7-4 Baltimore Ravens in this week 13 matchup. Last week, the Broncos were blown out on the road vs. the Carolina Panthers and now will head east again to play in the early slot vs. the Ravens. They will be looking to avoid another loss and capture their elusive fourth victory of the season.

With all this said, I am going to give you five things to watch during this week 13 matchup vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Will the Broncos ignore the noise from the week?

It was an interesting week in Broncos Country. We had reports coming out that quarterback Russell Wilson has lost some people in the locker room which led to the Broncos sending every player they can find to meet with reporters and deny it. Then, they had Broncos beat writer Mike Klis come out and say half the team went to Wilson’s birthday party, which started an even bigger storm.

This sort of stuff is a distraction that can carry over into today’s game. Especially on a disappointed and frustrated 3-8 roster.

Nose tackle Mike Purcell screaming at Wilson seems like ages ago, but we will need to see if there’s any more carryover from that. Will more frustrated defensive players start screaming at the quarterback to hopefully light a fire under them?

We shall see.

2. Will they score some points??

In a season where we thought the offense would be good and even be able to compete with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs offense, we got the complete opposite. The Broncos' offense ranks near the bottom in every offensive category and has a hard time scoring points.

The Broncos are averaging just 12 points in their past three games and scored just 10 points in two of the three losses. They have only topped 20 points twice this season and just haven’t been able to put many points on the scoreboard.

I, unfortunately, do not see that changing this week. The team looked flat last week after traveling east to take on the then three-win Panthers. Now, they will head east again and take on a pretty good Ravens team.

I am being pessimistic but this team has not given us many reasons to be optimistic this season.

3. Stopping the Ravens' run game

Outside of stopping Derrick Henry during the loss to the Titans, the Broncos' defense has had some issues stopping the run.

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs topped 100 yards, Panthers running back D’onta Foreman topped 120 yards while teammate Chuba Hubbard also had 65 yards on the ground as well, and Jaguars running back Travis Etienne topped 150 yards during the London game as well. So, this run defense is vulnerable, and now facing a run-heavy Baltimore Ravens offense.

If they struggle to stop the run game of Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, Kenyan Drake, and others, the Broncos are going to have another long day today.

4. The return of Jerry Jeudy

One potential boost to the Broncos' offense is the return of former first-round pick, Jerry Jeudy. He has been out since the first offensive snap in the Titans game and could give the Broncos some sort of boost during today’s game.

With that said, the Broncos' offensive struggled with Jeudy on the field, and he likely will be on a pitch count considering he’s just coming back and only practiced on a limited basis once during the week. So, any boost he gives will likely be minimal.

With that said, Jeudy has been on the other side of the small handful of explosive plays the Broncos' offense has had this year, so his return hopefully provides more of them.

5. Will the Broncos' offensive line protect Russell Wilson?

Quarterback Russell Wilson has had his issues this season, but his protection has been awful at times this year. With multiple injuries to starters along the Broncos' offensive line, opposing defenses have had no issues getting after the Broncos' quarterback. That, unfortunately, will not change this week vs. the Ravens.

The Ravens are tied for 5th most in the league with 35 team sacks. Considering the Broncos' struggles on offense and in protection, that is not the stat you want to see heading into this game.

Veteran edge rusher Justin Houston has 9 sacks on the year and figures to be disruptive once again in this one. Meanwhile, fellow veteran Calias Campbell is second on the team with 5.5 sacks as well. I would not be surprised to see both get at least one sack in this one.

If the Broncos struggle in protection once again in this one, it will be a long day for them on the offensive side of the ball.