Piecing together Denver’s win over Baltimore
1. No Turnovers: The Denver Broncos finished with a clean slate in this department or the first this season time without turning the ball over even once in the game. Above all the Denver Broncos managed that feat while grabbing two takeaways – a forced fumble by defensive tackle Justin Bannan and a fumble recovered by safety Rahim Moore.
Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris also made an interception return for a 98 yard touchdown.
“We knew that turnovers were going to be important in this game,” Head Coach John Fox said. “We ended up plus-2. It’s something that Baltimore’s done a tremendous job of taking the ball away and not giving it up. They’re plus-12 on the season.”
2. Shutting down of Ravens Playmakers: The Denver Broncos knew the key to winning the game was either hindering or completely snuffing progress of Baltimore Ravens playmakers Anquan Boldin fresh off a two-touchdown game, and Ray Rice coming off a 100-yard effort against the Washington Redskins.
The Denver Broncos limited both players to a marvelous extent, with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice amassing just 38 yard on 12 carries and three catches for 3 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin didn’t produce a single reception after being sacked six times in Sunday’s game. The Baltimore Ravens’ only other top receiver Torrey Smith registered just one catch for 14 yards.
3. Fast Start: Building on their 17-0 halftime lead, the Denver Broncos led the Baltimore Ravens by 31-3 (rounding up to four touchdowns) at the end of the third quarter. The large margin took-off pressure form the Denver Broncos defense so that they could focus on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was sacked three time while getting hit on as many as nine plays.
Even the Denver Broncos offense was inclined to take risk on big plays – including a 51-yard touchdown from Peyton Manning to wide receiver Eric Decker.
What went Wrong
1. Late Touchdowns: Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey acknowledged that the team’s defensive lapses in the fourth quarter provided the Baltimore Ravens with an opportunity to score two touchdowns, coming back from a 21 point deficit to trail with 34-17.
“We just missed a few tackles, missed a few bad angles, stuff like that,” said Champ Bailey. “They made plays when they had to and we’ve just got to find a way to keep putting that pedal to the metal.”
2. Tight end trouble: The Denver Broncos defense failed in coverage of Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, who raked up seven catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the game.
Both of Dennis Pitta’s touchdowns were contributed same fourth quarter points that messed-up an otherwise absolutely dominating game for the Denver Broncos. Dennis Pitta caught an early 31-yard touchdown and a late 61-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
3. Special Teams fumble: With the Denver Broncos leading 17-3 returner Trindon Holiday fielded the Baltimore Ravens’ resulting kickoff while racing to the sideline. However after he was hit and fumble, a mad scramble ensued for the ball possession. Fortunately the ball landed out of bounds, giving the Denver Broncos possession at their own 17-yard line.
Peyton Manning threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker on the game drive.