Ravens vs. Broncos: Live Grades and Analysis for Denver

Travis WakemanFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 5, 2013

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls out to his teammates behind center against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images


Final Score

Ravens: 27

Broncos: 49

Denver Broncos Final Analysis:

Passing Offense: Peyton Manning looked like he was in midseason form as he shredded the Baltimore defense for 462 passing yards. On top of that, he threw seven touchdown passes, tying a single-game NFL record. The last time that happened in the NFL was 1969.

Passing Defense: Joe Flacco passed for 362 yards in this game, but he completed just 34-of-62 passes. With Champ Bailey sitting the game out due to injury, the combination of Chris Harris, Tony Carter and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did a solid job.

Rushing Offense: The Broncos were not able to do much on the ground, but they didn't need to. The Broncos ran the ball just 23 times compared to 42 passes. Knowshon Moreno led the team with 28 yards rushing.

Rushing Defense: Baltimore gained just 58 yards on the ground in this game. The Ravens' rushing attack was nonexistent in the second half while Denver carried a big lead. The interior of the Denver defensive line looked improved over last year, an encouraging sign.

Special Teams: Aside from Wes Welker's muffed punt in the second quarter that led to an easy Baltimore touchdown, special teams played well. Britton Colquitt averaged 45.6 yards on his seven punts, and the Broncos held the Ravens to just 13 total return yards.

Coaching: The coaching staff made some good adjustments at halftime. The defense became more aggressive and got after Flacco, leading to four sacks. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase seems to have found a successful formula with his fast-paced play-calling.


Denver Broncos First-Half Analysis:

Passing Offense: Manning completed 11-of-19 passes in the first half and threw two touchdown passes to Julius Thomas, a player Baltimore had a tough time matching up against.

Passing Defense: Things started out shaky for the pass defense but Chris Harris turned things around by making a great diving interception on a pass intended for former Bronco Brandon Stokley.

Rushing Offense: Knowshon Moreno was given the start in this game, likely because of his ability to protect the quarterback. The Broncos ran the ball just eight times in the first half, gaining only 21 yards.

Rushing Defense: Baltimore used both Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to run the ball in the first half and while neither man was able to break off a big run, they did enough to keep the Baltimore offense balanced.

Special Teams: Wes Welker was put in to return a punt in the second quarter rather than Trindon Holliday. Not only did he call for a fair catch on his own 5-yard line, he muffed the punt as well. Baltimore recovered and turned it into a touchdown.

Coaching: Offensively, the Broncos should try to mix in some more run plays. Manning has lined up almost entirely in the shotgun and the defense isn't buying the handoff to the running back. On defense, they need to bring more pressure on Flacco and try to.