It was another middling effort from Joe Flacco as he continued to put up pedestrian numbers.
Flacco had two touchdown passes, but also had two turnovers. Flacco’s only interception of the day was soul crushing, as it went 98 yards for a pick-six with only 15 seconds left in the first half.
That play made it 17-0 Broncos at the half and effectively ended the game, as the Ravens never came within sniffing distance of Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ efficient offense.
Flacco’s 254 yards passing marked the first time since Week 6 that he threw for over 190 yards, yet under 340 yards. Flacco had been bouncing back and forth between solid and poor performances yardage wise, so it was a more consistent mediocre effort.
Even Flacco’s touchdowns weren’t terribly impressive as Dennis Pitta turned a five-yard pass into a 61-yard touchdown play on an amazing individual effort.
Overall Flacco was outplayed by Manning, as he piloted his offense more efficiently. Thus, with a mediocre stat line and back breaking interception, he gets a below average grade.
Running Backs: F
After the biggest game of the season for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, it was a nightmarish effort against the Broncos.
Rice had a stat line reminiscent of a Cam Cameron-led offense, as Rice had only 12 carries for 38 yards and no touchdowns.
It was newly appointed offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s first time calling plays, and it looked like it. Rice had zero touches or targets on third down, as Rice totaled a mere 41 total yards on the day.
Adding to the running back frustration was Bernard Pierce, as he left the game with an apparent concussion after five carries for 20 yards.
All things considered it was one of the worst rushing games for the Ravens all season, so it must be deemed a failure.
Wide Receivers: D
It was an upside down game for the wide receivers against the Broncos.
Leading receiver Anquan Boldin had zero catches despite six targets. It was the first time Boldin had no catches in a game in his Ravens’ career, and the first time overall since 2005.
Torrey Smith stayed true to his inconsistent ways as he had one catch before leaving with a concussion in the second half. Smith has mirrored Flacco’s inconsistent play all season and has become tough to fully trust.
Jacoby Jones led all wide receivers with three catches and 51 yards. Tandon Doss had two catches for 28 yards, while David Reed had the first two catches of his career for 22 yards after Smith exited the game.
Overall it was a topsy turvvy yet disappointing game for the receiving corp.
Tight Ends: A+
The only bright spot of the day for the offense came via the performance from Pitta.
Pitta went beast mode as he had had seven catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first time Pitta had 100-plus yards in a game and the first time he scored more than once in a game in his three-year career.
Pitta’s 61-yard touchdown was a highlight reel play, as he turned a five-yard out pass into a play where he tiptoed down the sideline, pulled a 360, shed another tackler then ran for the touchdown.
Pitta now has four touchdowns in the last four games and is really hitting his stride as the stretch run approaches.
Offensive Line: C-
Like their quarterback, the offensive line also had a middling effort against the Broncos.
The run blocking was subpar, as the 2.9 yards per rush indicates. The run game never really got going due to the large lead for the Broncos, but the line could have done a better job regardless of the amount of rushes.
The pass defense was mediocre as they allowed three sacks on a day where Flacco threw 40 times. The line has been slightly better than average this season, but the performance against the Broncos was slightly below average.