NFL Game Summary - Denver at Baltimore|
(Sunday, December 16th)
Final Score: Denver 34, Baltimore 17
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Denver Broncos had never beaten the
Ravens in Baltimore in five tries.
But that was before they had Peyton Manning.
Manning tossed a touchdown pass, Knowshon Moreno ran for a score and the
surging Broncos won their ninth straight game with a 34-17 thumping of the
"Pat Bowlen has owned the team for 29 years and has averaged 10 wins a season,
but it's the first time he's won in this building," Broncos head coach John
Fox said. "I was proud to see that for him."
Manning, who has won each of his past nine starts against Baltimore, including
two playoff meetings, threw for 204 yards on 17-of-28 efficiency for Denver
(11-3), which is in the midst of its longest winning streak since the 1998
squad won their first 13 contests en route to the team's second consecutive
Moreno carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards, Eric Decker caught eight
passes for 133 yards and a score and Chris Harris returned an interception 98
yards for a touchdown in the triumph.
Following last Sunday's 31-28 overtime setback to the Washington Redskins, the
Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron a day later and elevated
quarterbacks coach and one of Manning's mentors, Jim Caldwell, to the post.
The offense, though, didn't get the jolt it was looking for.
Baltimore (9-5), which has lost three straight contests, failed to record a
first down on each of its first five possessions. It didn't pick up its
initial first down until Bernard Pierce broke off a 14-yard run on a 2nd-
and-6 at the 8:12 mark of the second quarter.
"We didn't do the things we needed to do to convert," Ravens head coach John
Harbaugh said of his team not picking up a first down for the first 21-plus
minutes of the game. "We didn't run the ball well enough to get in third-and-
shorts, and we didn't convert."
The Ravens locked up a playoff spot after the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the
Dallas Cowboys in overtime. Baltimore sits one game ahead of the Cincinnati
Bengals for first place in the AFC North.
"We're a 9-5 football team and we feel like we're 0-14 right now," Ravens
quarterback Joe Flacco said.
Flacco was 20-of-40 for 254 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a
lost fumble in defeat
The anemic Ravens offense had tallied just 38 yards over their first 22 plays
of the game before Flacco floated a 43-yard completion down the right sideline
to Jacoby Jones and put the ball at the Denver 34.
Torrey Smith had a 14-yard reception to put the ball at the 4-yard line with
50 seconds left in the half, and the offense hurried to the line. Flacco
snapped the ball and tried to hit Anquan Boldin on a quick out to the left
sideline, but Harris undercut the route and all Flacco could do was chase him
down the sideline as Harris ran in for the score and a 17-0 Broncos lead.
"Baltimore had some momentum there on the drive and looks like they're
probably going to get the touchdown, plus they get the ball the first series
of the second half," Manning said. "So just a huge play. The turnover is good,
the fact that he took it all the way to the house for a touchdown was even
It was the longest regular-season interception return in Broncos history.
Justin Tucker nailed a 45-yard field goal on Baltimore's opening march of the
second half, but the Broncos answered with a pair of touchdown drives.
On the fifth play of their ensuing trek, Decker beat Ravens cornerback Cary
Williams with a stutter-and-go route along the left sideline and Manning hit
him in stride for the easy 51-yard touchdown.
After another Baltimore three-and-out, Manning found Joel Dreessen down the
left seam on the second play of the drive for a 28-yard completion down to the
Ravens' 6-yard line. Moreno got into the end zone two plays later to make it
A pair of Dennis Pitta touchdown receptions, 31 and 61 yards, respectively, in
the fourth quarter were sandwiched around a Matt Prater 36-yard field goal to
cap the scoring.
Earlier, the Broncos opened the scoring on their second possession of the
contest as Prater capped an 11-play, 44-yard march with a 27-yard field goal.
Jacob Hester plunged in from a yard out early in the second frame to conclude
an elongated 11-play, 78-yard trek. Moreno had six rushes for 46 yards on the
Baltimore's last home loss to anyone other than Pittsburgh was to the Manning-
led Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 22, 2009 ... The Ravens have lost back-to-back
home tilts for the first time since dropping four in a row from Nov. 11-Dec 9,
2007 ... Baltimore finished 1-of-12 on third down and were outgained, 350-278
... Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs, who missed last Sunday's game against
Washington because of a torn biceps, returned but had just one tackle ...
Smith and Pierce left the game with concussions.
12/16 20:19:58 ET