Sunday, December 16, 2012

Manning, Broncos Rout Ravens, Win 9th Straight

Peyton Manning tosses a 51-yard TD pass to Eric Decker

This was one we'd sure like to forget. Ravens nation took a beating today as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos dismantled the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium 34-17, as Manning passed for 204 yards and a touchdown. The win was the ninth straight for the surging Broncos, while the Ravens lost their third in a row since opening the season 9-2.

Denver (11-3) held the Ravens to 56 net yards rushing and a dismal 8% (1-12) on 3rd down conversions. Still, Baltimore had a chance to cut a 10-0 lead to three with less than a minute to go in the first half. Ravens QB Joe Flacco drove the Ravens offense down to the Broncos' 4-yard line, before throwing an errant pass to Denver cornerback Chris Harris, who returned it 98 yards for a touchdown and a 17-point lead at halftime.

Sorry ladies, not much to cheer about

After a 45 yard field goal by Justin Tucker finally put Baltimore on the scoreboard, Manning hit wideout Eric Decker in perfect stride on a 51-yard touchdown pass to put Denver up 24-3... effectively putting the game out of reach with 10 minutes still to go in the third quarter. The Broncos went up 31-3 before Flacco connected with TE Dennis Pita on two fourth-quarter TDs (31 and 61 yards respectively) to make it look a bit more respectable.

Today's game marked Jim Caldwell's first as offensive coordinator: Caldwell replaced recently fired Cam Cameron, and appears to have a few wrinkles to iron out. The Ravens now turn their attention to a suddenly vital game next Sunday versus the New York Giants (8-6.) A win almost guarantees a playoff berth, while a fourth straight loss could turn a once promising season into a nightmare.

Click here for today's box score.