The Ravens head to Denver to take on the undefeated Broncos in Week 4. Will they be able to hand the Broncos their first loss, or will they fall to 2-2 at Mile High?
RSR Staff give our bold predictions here…
Many have deflated the value of the Broncos (3-0) start due to the level of competition that they’ve faced. Their three wins came at the expense of teams with a combined (0-9) record. But let’s not forget that the Ravens two wins were against teams with a combined (1-5) record. It’s early in the season and numbers are often misleading. That said, a team can only play their schedule and so far for the Broncos, they’ve taken care of business. Until this week…
The Broncos play great defense (only surrendering 26 points through 3 games) and they play mistake free football on offense. The approach works when a team can run effectively and they field a caretaker of the football. Such is the case with Teddy Bridgewater.
But this week, the winning formula to date will be challenged. Here’s what you can expect:
- The Ravens hold the Broncos to 70 yards rushing and consequently, Teddy will feel the pressure.
- Bridgewater will be sacked 4 times, twice by Calais Campbell, once by Justin Madubuike and the last by Marlon Humphrey.
- The turnover edge will belong to the Ravens, 2-1
- The Broncos will harass Lamar Jackson but he’ll make them pay with two scrambles that add 50 yards to his rushing totals which will eclipse 80. Lamar coughs up a fumble after a Von Miller strip sack. It sets up a short field for the Denver offense.
- Latavius Murray has his best day as a Raven with a 75 yard effort on 13 carries.
- Marquise Brown atones for his forgettable afternoon in Detroit with a 6 catch, 110 yard day including a score.
- Devin Duvernay is the difference in the game when he returns a punt to pay dirt.
Ravens leave Denver feeling a mile high.
Ravens 23, Broncos 20
This game poses an interesting challenge to predict because we’re just not entirely sure what either team is to this point. Denver has ridden a dominant defense and efficient offense to a 3-0 start, but has faced three teams with a combined 0-9 record. The Ravens are sitting nicely at 2-1, but could easily be 3-0, or 0-3. Injuries have also impacted both teams, and the winner of this one will probably be the team that makes the fewest mistakes, and generates the most big plays. Which, yeah, is often the case in football games, right? Here come some bold predictions before I say something else painfully obvious.
— Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, he of zero interceptions through the team’s first three games, will throw two of them this week. One on a deflection off the hands of Calais Campbell, and the other to Jimmy Smith while covering tight end Noah Fant.
— The Broncos give up a stingy 8.7 points per game. The Ravens will not be limited to 8.7 points. That will be passed in the first half.
— Devin Duvernay will have two plays of more than 40 yards — one on special teams, and the other on offense.
— Odafe Oweh will get two sacks. Both in the fourth quarter.
Ravens 27 Broncos 23
It’s the Broncos’ first real test, sure, but the Ravens have a lot to prove as well. I am confident the COVID-rested DL can stymie the Bridgewater-led offense, but can the Ravens get at least one of their running backs in gear? The Denver defense is no joke, and we may be in for more of a punt-fest than we’re used to seeing from Ravens games since #8 took over.
Give me the good guys in a low-scoring affair.
Ravens 23 Broncos 13
This is a huge game for the Ravens. Imo, this is the most important job division game of the year. With the team spending the next 5 weeks at home, this sets up as an important swing game for the team. Losing certainly doesn’t bury you but winning puts you in a great spot.
Like the Ravens, the Broncos are dealing with a lot of key injuries, so this game could be more of a battle of attrition as things go on. Lamar leads the NFL in air yards per pass attempt but Bridgewater is 5th in that category. He has steadied the offense and made them better. The defense is good.
The problem with Denver is that we don’t know how good they are. They are 0-3 but have beaten teams that are a combined 0-9 (Giants, Jags and Jets). That’s not exactly murderers row. Their defense is only giving up 221 yards per game and teams can’t run on them so far. But again, they haven’t played anyone who is any good, so what can we take away from that?
The Ravens could be 3-0 or 0-3. They have showed a lot of toughness and fight early and Lamar is playing at an MVP level. They are also getting healthier although they are obviously still without some key guys.
Does the thin air do anything to hurt the Ravens players? The team hasn’t played in Denver since 2015, so most of this team hasn’t played in those conditions although there are obviously some players who have. Still, with your depth being hurt, the thin air could be an issue as the game goes on.
It will be imperative of the team to control the clock and help keep the defense off the field so they are fresh later in the game. Roman can not have the game plan he had last week. The Denver secondary is solid and we need to run it more than the 22 times we did last week.
I’m inclined to go with the Ravens for this game as Denver is dealing with their injuries (and they haven’t been able to game plan for that as long as the Ravens have) and the Ravens are more battle tested.
Ravens 23 Denver 17
The Broncos are giving the Ravens a run for their money in the injury department. The Ravens luck is beginning to improve in that area thankfully. The Broncos have been firing on all cylinders so far on both sides of the ball. The question is how will they fare against better competition?
– Tavon Young will be the recipient of an interception while Bridgewater tries to take advantage of the middle of the field against the Ravens linebackers.
– Patrick Queen will only have 2 missed tackles.
–Malik Harrison will only have one missed tackle.
– Lamar will avoid running with an injured back and pass for 275 yards.
– The Ravens will tie the record for consecutive 100 yd rushing games.
Ravens 24 Broncos 17
— Teddy Bridgewater was masterful in conservative game play last season, finishing 5th in completion percentage among starters. You’re seeing the Broncos play to his strengths this year in allowing him to be a game manager who takes care of the ball, and he has yet to throw an interception this season as a result. That changes Sunday. Chuck Clark follows up a big performance last week and snatches one away. An injury-depleted receiving group for Denver will be swarmed all day, and Marlon Humphrey records his first punch out of the season.
— Last week, the running back room struggled to get much of anything going, and it really hampered Baltimore’s offense all day. I can’t see that happening two weeks in a row. The RB room gets back on track, as Murray and Williams record 50+ yards each.
— Tuck’s golden leg flourishes at Mile High, and he nails a kick from beyond 55 yards.
Ravens 24 Broncos 17
An interesting matchup against an unexpected QB in a building that holds many iconic moments in Ravens history… this should be fun.
Hilarious tweets aside, the Broncos are pretty banged up, however, this defense is one of the NFL’s best through week 3.
Expect a slugfest, the Ravens will stick to what they’ve been doing and the RB room will continue to be a committee.
Lamar will be held in check on the ground after being banged up against Detroit.
Hollywood bounces back and catches a TD.
Oweh will get to Teddy Two-Gloves at least once.
The Ravens will win this one.
Ravens 20 Broncos 14