Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Ravens Overcome Slow Start, Handle Broncos 27-14

September 23, 2018 - 4:56 pm

By Joe Schiller

The beginning of Sunday’s Week 3 matchup against the Denver Broncos couldn’t have started much worse for the Baltimore Ravens.

Joe Flacco and the offense went 3-and-out on the opening drive. The ensuing punt from Sam Koch was blocked and one play later, Royce Freeman walked untouched into the end zone to give the Broncos a 7-0 lead.

Following an Alex Collins touchdown, the Broncos answered yet again with a 35-yard rushing touchdown from Emmanuel Sanders on an end-around.

Denver scored 14 points within the first eight minutes of the game but it would be the only offense they could muster up. Baltimore overcame a slow start, showed defensive dominance and handled the Broncos for a 27-14 win.

It wasn’t a dazzling offensive performance but it didn’t have to be. Flacco went 25-of-40 with 277 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Buck Allen. After throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble against the Cincinnati Bengals, he stayed clean and avoided costly turnovers.

The offensive line – which stayed the same following a shaky performance in Week 2 – bounced back and allowed just two sacks against a potent pass rush. Credit is due to a unit that faced a litany of questions and concerns coming into the matchup.

The Ravens took a six-point lead into halftime by way of Allen’s receiving touchdown and a 52-yard field goal from Justin Tucker.

Tucker finished 2-of-3 from field goal range in sloppy conditions, hitting a pair of 50+ yard kicks to add on to the score.

Both sides combined for just seven points in the second half, which came by way of a Buck Allen 1-yard run. Keenum and the Broncos had just four drives during those two quarters, resulting in two punts, an interception and a turnover on downs.

Without C.J. Mosley, Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor were fantastic. Young led the team with 10 total tackles while Onwuasor nabbed an interception from Keenum that would have been returned for a touchdown if not for a block in the back penalty from Matt Judon.

Royce Freeman was limited to 53 rushing yards on 13 carries while Phillip Lindsay’s day was ended early after being ejected in the first quarter for throwing punches.

The win puts the Ravens at 2-1 on the season and gives John Harbaugh and company much-needed momentum for an AFC North showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday night.