The Denver Broncos easily handled the Baltimore Ravens 49-27 to open the 2013 NFL season.
In a game that saw the Broncos seeking revenge for a heartbreaking playoff loss, the Ravens looked nothing like defending world champions.
Joe Flacco was flat throwing to a depleted wide receiving corps. He clearly missed Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. New tight end Dallas Clark didn’t help the Ravens when he dropped an easy TD on the goal line early.
The Broncos defense, for their part, gave the Ravens every chance to be competitive. Late in the game and with a chance to seal the victory, LB Danny Trevathan dropped a pick six at the goal line that the Ravens recovered. Baltimore ended up scoring a touchdown on the turnover to stay in the game.
Peyton Manning looking every bit like the player the Broncos signed him to be. He became the sixth player in NFL history to throw seven TDs in one game. He threw two early TDs to breakout tight end Julius Thomas.
Wes Welker also showed why the Patriots signed him in the offseason. He finished the game with 67 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He did fumble a punt, but it had no effect on the game.
In a game many thought would be defined by two great defenses only one defense showed up to play. Maybe the Ravens were dealing with a Super Bowl hangover. Maybe first ballot hall of famer Peyton Manning was just too much. Whatever the reason, the Ravens’ defense looked out matched and unprepared
Of course, this was only the first game of the season for both teams. What does it mean for the season to come? The Broncos are who we thought they were (to paraphrase former Cardinals coach Dennis Green). As for the Ravens? Well, who really knows. There are a lot of young players on Baltimore’s defense and they probably need more time gel. Raven’s fans shouldn’t be worried quite yet.
Do you think the Broncos handling of the Ravens to open the season should go down as a classic game?