Let’s be honest. I mean, we’re not Raiders’ fans. That Wes Welker catch to start the second half, well, was not a complete catch at all. However, the Ravens didn’t challenge the first-down call, and the turn around began.
The first half of the NFL kickoff between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens was a little slow, to say the least. The Ravens drew first blood scoring three times with touchdowns from Ray Rice, Vonta Leach, and a 25-yard fields goal from Justin Tucker. Breakout tight end Julius Thomas scored two touchdowns for the Broncos in the first half, which was exciting for me, since Thomas comes from Portland State, which is in my school’s division and we play them every year. This brought us to a 17-14 Ravens lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Wes Welker made two touchdown passes, one of them resulting from the catch aforementioned, which was nice to see since he started the game a little shaky. Wide receiver Andre Caldwell also made a fingertip grab touchdown in the third quarter. The defense stepped up in the third as well, sacking Flacco four times and holding the Ravens to only two first downs and only 32-yards.
“It’s hard to beat the Ravens unless you can stop the run. If you can’t stop the run, the Ravens can beat you all day. That’s something we had to do — shut down Ray Rice and eliminate the big, explosive plays. We did both tonight, said cornerback Chris Harris, whose diving, second-quarter interception set up the Broncos for their first points of the game according to denverbroncos.com.
The fourth quarter was just as exciting, as Manning found wide receiver Demariyus Thomas twice for touchdowns, and Manning had his third game where he threw six or more touchdowns in a single game, the last one being against the Steelers last year, where he found the endzone seven times as well, making him the first quarterback to throw for seven touchdowns in a game since 1969, and he has done it twice now.
One of the biggest, but maybe more funny than anything, the defense made in the second half was when Danny Trevathan picked off Flacco in the fourth quarter, and sprinting towards the end zone, he let go of the ball in celebration before actually crossing the goal line, causing a touchback.
“It was a young mistake. I was just in the moment,” Trevathan said. This was Trevathan’s first career game in his second season. Although the Ravens did march down the field and score off of his mistake, I don’t believe it was a make or break moment and we can chuckle about it.
This win was a huge motivator for the Broncos, taking back their pride after that devaststaing loss to the Ravens in the playoffs last year. I think fans, as well as the team and coaches couldn’t be happier to get this eight month chip off of their shoulder.
“I mean we’ve had to talk about that game forever. I think we were just looking forward to playing again — unfortunately it wasn’t the next week of last year. We had to wait eight months. Really at the end of the day it was a fire in your belly, a pain, a scar – I don’t know, anywhere you want. But it is a motivator,” Head Coach John Fox said.