Clearly, things didn’t go as planned for the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. The team opened up its 2013 season with a deflating defeated, getting topped 49-27 by the Denver Broncos. The Ravens came out of the gate strong and looked liked they hadn’t skipped a beat since winning the Lombardi trophy just six and a half months back, but then it all started to come unraveled.
There are a few things you can point to that changed the momentum in this game. The Ravens’ downfall started with Jacoby Jones‘ freak injury, it gained momentum with Dallas Clark‘s dropped touchdown pass before halftime, and then a missed challenge by the Baltimore coaching staff sealed the deal. Those were three big things that didn’t go the Ravens’ way and that ultimately changed the course of the game.
So while Baltimore had to deal with issues on its side, they also had to deal with a future Hall of Famer on the other side. Peyton Manning had an absolute banner night as he tossed a career-high seven touchdowns. Long story short, it just wasn’t the Ravens’ night. But that’s okay, because we’re ultimately talking about one game.
The Ravens showed some promise on Thursday night. Fans should be encouraged by the new combo of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil on defense and by the way Joe Flacco played for most of the night. The deck was stacked against Baltimore in this game. They were playing on the road against arguably the league’s best team, that also happens to play in high altitude, all while they were breaking in many new players. There are 15 more games to go and the AFC is going to be wide open this year.
The best news of all for Ravens’ fans? They’re back at home next week against the Cleveland Browns.