Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens lost a hard-fought defensive battle to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Even in a loss, there were a few bright spots, but of course, there are plenty of things that need to be improved upon. Even though most of the pundits expected the Ravens to lose this game, they still had a chance to come away with a victory. But, it’s on to the next one, as there are still 15 more games on the schedule.
Here are the 5 biggest takeaways from Sunday’s game.
Offensive Line Needs Work
The Broncos’ pass rushers were whipping up on the Ravens’ offensive line like clockwork on Sunday. Joe Flacco was sacked twice, but he was seemingly hit on just about every throw he attempted. Eugene Monroe went down on the first series and it hurt Baltimore big time.
Not only did the offensive line struggle in pass blocking, but the Ravens also found it hard to develop a consistent running game. Running the football has always been a strength for this football team and to see them struggle so much was painful to watch. If the Ravens are going to make serious noise in the AFC, the line will need to tighten up.
Jimmy Smith Living Up to Expectations
Coming into the 2014 season, cornerback Jimmy Smith was regarded as one of the NFL’s up-and-coming corners. He went down after eight games and the Ravens sorely missed his presence. But, now he’s back and the team has had high expectations for Smith in his return. He played well against the Broncos, looking like a legitimate shutdown corner in man coverage. The highlight of the day was Smith’s impressive 24-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Perriman, Come Back
Baltimore’s first-round draft pick Breshad Permian missed the season opener due to a nagging knee injury. It was uncertain how much the rookie would actually be missed, but after watching the game, there is no doubt that if the Ravens are going to be successful this season, they need Perriman healthy and in the lineup. Without him, Flacco lacked a legitimate deep-threat option to stretch the field outside of Steve Smith Sr.
More from Baltimore Ravens
- Baltimore Ravens: Will this be Breshad Perriman’s last game as a Raven?
- Baltimore Ravens: Why RG3 Will Not Make the Ravens’ 53-Man Roster
- Baltimore Ravens have to make a decision on resting key offensive players
- Baltimore Ravens Cornerback Situation With Jimmy Smith Likely Suspended
- Top 5 Baltimore Ravens to Get on Your Fantasy Football Team
Allen Making Case for More Carries
For the majority of the game, the Ravens failed to run the ball effectively, mainly due to the lackluster performance from the offensive line. Justin Forsett only had one memorable play the entire game. When he was unable to find the creases, rookie Buck Allen was able to get a few yards here and a few yards there. He finished the day with 30 yards on nine carries. With Lorenzo Taliaferro battling injuries, Allen is taking advantage of all of his opportunities and even when Taliaferro returns, Allen could still see a decent workload.
Ravens Have (or had) Super-Bowl Caliber Defense
Year in and year out, Baltimore has one of the league’s elite defensive units. Today, they put on a pretty impressive performance against a potent Denver offense. The front seven was applying pressure on Peyton Manning all game long, recording four sacks on the day. The Ravens held Manning to just 175 yards passing and kept the Broncos’ out of the end zone. They were dominant in stopping the run for most of the game, holding Denver to just 69 total yards on the ground.
That is the kind of defense that wins championships. In fact, it’s the reason the Ravens have two Super Bowl championships. When Timmy Jernigan returns from injury, he will be a force, but the defense could take a step with the news that Terrell Suggs will miss the rest of the season due to a torn Achilles tendon.
More from The Baltimore Wire
- What other Baltimore Orioles Offseason Storylines will you be interested in seeing?
- Baltimore Orioles to Face Numerous Playoff Contenders Down the Stretch
- Baltimore Orioles Showing Encouraging Signs During Recent Wins
- The Baltimore Orioles and the Expanded September Roster
- Maryland Football: Terps honor Jordan McNair, beat Longhorns 34-29