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The Denver Broncos defense and special teams had a rough second quarter giving up 17 unanswered points to take a 17-7 deficit into halftime.
After that big 31 yard run by Javonte Williams, the Denver Broncos had the ball inside the ten and would close the drive out with a Teddy Bridgewater touchdown pass to Noah Fant to give Denver a lead over the Baltimore Ravens.
Fant gets wide open running an arrow underneath a pick. pic.twitter.com/n3TBe2uNnm
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 3, 2021
Broncos 7, Ravens 0.
Lamar Jackson had looked uncomfortable through the first quarter and into the second, but did get a couple of completions. On a second and 5, Justin Simmons broke a pass up down the field to bring up third down. From there, Jackson picked up a first down but there were clearly multiple holds on the run. Instead, the refs called Von Miller for being offsides.
The first down moved the Ravens into Broncos territory. Mark Andrews then got behind Simmons for a big gain down to the Broncos 23 yard line. Jackson then found Andrews again with Simmons in coverage. Baltimore would score on the next play on a run outside from Latavius Murray to tie the game right back up.
That’s the first touchdown the #Broncos have given up in eight quarters.
— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) October 3, 2021
Broncos 7, Ravens 7.
The Broncos offense went a quick three and out to punt the momentum back to the Ravens. It didn’t take long for the Ravens to get back into the Broncos side of the field either.
From the Broncos 49 yard line, Lamar Jackson was hit when he threw and the pass fell incomplete after DeShawn Williams tipped the ball. On second down, Jackson went for the home run ball to Hollywood Brown who broke free diving for the touchdown pass to blow the game wide open for Baltimore.
— Football Outsiders (@fboutsiders) October 3, 2021
Ravens 14, Broncos 7.
Bridgewater and the Broncos came out with a little more up tempo style to start the next drive with back to back completions to Courtland Sutton and Fant to get the offense out near midfield. That start came to a grinding halt on back to back runs by Javonte Williams that netted a total of zero yards. On third and 10, Bridgewater hit Sutton on a screen but it was well defended.
With four minutes to go in the first half, the Ravens got another shot to put together a scoring drive starting from their own 11 yard line.
That poor field position lasted all of one play as Jackson found Brown who turned a reception up field for a 33 yard gain. At the two minute warning, the Ravens again crossed midfield. Denver’s defense had a chance after a big tackle for a loss by Mike Purcell and Von Miller to force a fourth and three.
Denver would get the ball back with just over a minute to go in the half with all three timeouts. Bridgewater had a nice screen setup for Gordon, but hesitated and threw the ball at his feet. The drive went no where from there and they would punt away with 48 seconds to go in the half.
Special Teams reared its ugly head again anyway giving up a massive punt return to the Broncos 24 yard line with half a minute to go in the half.
This has been a three-phase collapse in the second quarter:
Defense: not enough pressure on Jackson
Offense: too much pressure on Bridgewater
Special teams: gashed for a 42-yard punt return
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 3, 2021
Denver’s defense would avert a complete collapse holding firm in the secondary to force a third and long. A blitz by safety Caden Sterns ended the drive to bring Justin Tucker out to extend the Ravens lead before halftime.
Ravens 17, Broncos 7.