Denver Broncos Sent a Bruising Message from the Baltimore Ravens

Chaz MattsonAnalyst IOctober 11, 2010

The Baltimore sent a message on Sunday against the Broncos.
The Baltimore sent a message on Sunday against the Broncos.Larry French/Getty Images

“Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, oh 

"Another lonely day, with no one here but me, oh 
More loneliness than any man could bear 
Rescue me before I fall into despair, oh 

"A year has passed since I wrote my note 
But I should have known this right from the start 
Only hope can keep me together 
Love can mend your life but 
Love can break your heart 

"Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw 
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore 
Seems I'm not alone in being alone 
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home 

"I'll send an S.O.S. to the world 
I'll send an S.O.S. to the world 
I hope that someone gets my 
I hope that someone gets my 
I hope that someone gets my 
Message in a bottle, yeah 
Message in a bottle, yeah 
Message in a bottle, yeah 
Message in a bottle, yeah 

"Sending out at an S.O.S. 
Sending out at an S.O.S. 
Sending out at an S.O.S. 
Sending out at an S.O.S. 
Sending out at an S.O.S. 
Sending out at an S.O.S...”

Message In A Bottle

The Police, originally on Reggatta de Blanc

The Denver Broncos left Baltimore on Sunday much in the way they found it when they arrived and similar to past teams: purple, black, and bruised and that encompasses egos.

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So before it gets to be too late in the day, it’s time to understand the way in which a game like this sends a message in a bottle, sending out an S.O.S.

If the Broncos are to become anything worth mentioning in the playoff picture, this game has to become the focal point of change.  It’s time to make amends.  The reality is obvious and this team cannot make the playoffs going at this same rate.  The Broncos are the football equivalent of the American Banking industry: the run game is corrupt and the only thing that can help it is a bailout.

The Broncos started the game in Baltimore seemingly with their head in the clouds after Brian Dawkins misread a 3rd-and-long pass.  The Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hit rookie backup tight end Ed Dickson deep for 58 yards just when it seemed he was out of options. 

That eventually led to what could have been the Broncos defining defensive stand of the season.  On 4th-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line, Flacco wound up getting sacked on a rollout pass to his left side.  Denver linebacker Jason Hunter knocked Flacco to the turf for a 14-yard loss and the Broncos sideline erupted.

That’s really the point in time the Broncos should have tried to barter for a tie or split decision of some sort.

The Baltimore Ravens did like it has done so many times before, showing up on defense and in spirit to turn away another opponent from winning a game in Baltimore.  To quoth the Ravens, who now are 5-0 at home against the Broncos: “Nevermore.”

Broncos fans should consider this payback for the days when the Ravens franchise was known as the Cleveland Browns and couldn’t buy a playoff win against the orange and blue.

Sure you can legitimize the good that the Denver Broncos did in Sunday’s game but it’s much more important right now to emphasize the shortfalls.  This team right now cannot run the ball, period, let alone in crucial situations. 

Last week they rushed for 19 yards, and this week they managed 39.  Herein lies the difference between not just the Ravens and the Broncos, but the difference between old-school football and new-school sharp passing games.  The Baltimore Ravens managed 233 yards on the ground. 

So you be the judge, but for a team to out rush another team by 200 yards on any given Sunday is a real rarity in football on any level.  For it to happen at the professional football level is an outrage, and Denver Broncos fans should start turning up the heat on this issue specifically.

Without a run game, history will tell us you need a slightly better defense than the Denver Broncos have right now and you need Tom Brady to compensate for the scheme shortfalls in the running game. 

The New England spread worked when teams weren’t playing the short nickel packages against it.  Yesterday the Ravens showed the only way to beat that nickel was to go deep on it.

So credit Kyle Orton for going 23-for-38 and tallying 314 yards with two very long spectacular touchdown bombs to Brandon Lloyd, who totaled 135 yards on the day.  Those plays worked like clockwork and Orton had no interceptions to match and no run game in support of the passing game.  Kyle Orton in this offense is the perfect fantasy football quarterback, but fantasy football does not equate to reality wins.

The reality is the Denver offense struggled early and often and could not get any points until very late in the first half, and just when it seemed the Broncos would make a move, the Ravens nixed the idea of getting back into the game.

Quoth the Ravens: “Nevermore.”

Joe Flacco finished his day 14-for-25 and 196 yards through the air with no TD’s and no picks, but he got the one thing that mattered most, the victory.

So before it’s too late, it’s time for the Broncos to rethink their current scheme and philosophy because it’s not good enough to reach the playoffs at this rate.

Take it for what it is from a castaway lost somewhere out to sea. It’s time to make like Sting and send an S.O.S to the Broncos world...I hope that someone at Dove Valley gets the message in the bottle...yeah!

At the end of the day, the AFC West Division is still wide open and there for the taking; any team can win it at this stage.  The Broncos, however, must be able to run the ball to correct their own ills.  It’s time to get back to the rudiments of run blocking and hash it all out now before it’s too late.

Trust the message sent from the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, even though they were only slightly more physical than the Denver Broncos.  They got a lot more meaningful yards and they all came on the ground.

At the end of the day, the Broncos defense was good enough by halftime, but the end result was the offense could not stay on the field and score, which always leads to a fatigued defense that can not stop the opposing run game.  That is Football 101.  So don’t let the Sophistication of Spread Offense class No. 545 six credit labs fool you; if there is no foundation on the ground, the rest won’t matter.

A personal confession from cyberspace is it's more loneliness than any man can bear, it’s been over a year since I wrote my original note (on this offensive scheme and it’s shortfalls). 

No doubt, I should have known this right from the start, we all should have known.  Realistically there will be a hundred million bottled up opinions arriving on the shores of Dove Valley looking for a home, all of them coming from the castaways.

At the end of the day the message is this: if the Broncos can’t run the ball, the chances of a playoff bid and possible division title will have gone the way of Edgar Allen Poe to quoth the raven: “Nevermore.”

Now that is a bruising message sent that you can trust.


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