Week 14 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 10, Denver Broncos 12
What you need to know
The Baltimore Ravens came up short in their attempt to knock off the Broncos, largely due to their lack of efficiency on offense and poor execution all around.
QB Kyle Boller led the Ravensí passing attack with 251 yards through the air, including a late touchdown pass, but turned the ball over three times and failed to get his team in the end zone on three trips inside the Denver ten yard line, including a first and goal situation on the opening drive of the game. Bollerís fumble came when he lost control on the first play following a Denver turnover, giving the ball right back to the Broncos.
With RB Jamal Lewis inactive for the game due to a hand injury, Chester Taylor carried the load and led the club in rushing with 20 carries for 59 yards, but could not get going against Denverís tough rush defense. Early in the fourth quarter, Taylor had three chances to score in a goal line situation, and failed to do so, getting stuffed on his third attempt from inside the five for a four yard loss, and also lost a fumble that led to a Denver score.
Rookie WR Mark Clayton led Baltimore in receiving, with seven catches for 105 yards, including a late touchdown from 39 yards out that cut the Denver lead to two points.
Defensively, the Ravens were led by LB Adalius Thomas, who tallied seven solo tackles, one assist, and one interception.
Denver failed to impress to earn their tenth win of the season, but did enough to beat a lackluster Baltimore team to improve to 10-3 for the year.
QB Jake Plummer led the way for Denver and threw for 236 yards and a touchdown. He did not have a very efficient game, completing only 19 of 33 passes, but his third quarter scoring strike to FB Kyle Johnson proved to be the difference in the game.
The highly touted Denver running attack struggled to find holes in the Baltimore defensive front, as they were held to only 96 yards on 32 attempts. Tatum Bell led the way with 63 yards on 16 carries, but failed to hit any homeruns for big plays in the running game. Bell got 16 carries to Mike Andersonís eight, and those eight carries by Anderson resulted in only 21 yards.
WR Rod Smith totaled 64 yards receiving on five catches, and was Plummerís favorite target, getting eight looks for the game.
DB Champ Bailey came up big for Denver, with seven tackles, one assist and a big interception on a Baltimore scoring attempt. It was Baileyís fifth straight game with an interception. LB Al Wilson also had a big play for the Broncosí defense, stuffing Chester Taylor on a fourth and goal attempt early in the fourth quarter.
What you ought to know
|QB Kyle Boller, Pass: 23 - 39 - 251 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0|
Boller finished with his highest passing yardage numbers of the season, with 251 yards, and did throw a late touchdown to WR Mark Clayton, but his sub par play continued as he turned the ball over three times for the game. The Baltimore signal caller also failed to get his club in the end zone on three separate occasions inside the Denver ten yard line. The good news for owners of Baltimoreís other skilled position players, is that he threw 39 passes, 30 of which went in the direction of Heap, Mason and Clayton.
Taylor got the start with Jamal Lewis out due to injury, but failed to put up strong numbers, finishing with 59 yards rushing on 20 carries, and also lost a fumble. Taylor had three receptions for 14 yards, and was targeted four times in the passing game.
Lewis was on the active player list for this game but did not play. He was not on the injury report but word is coming out that a hand problem was the reason he didnít play. The other reason could have been that Lewis is reportedly very deep on coach Brian Billickís dog house.
|WR Mark Clayton, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 7 - 105 - 1 (10 targets)|
Clayton had a solid game, as he was thrown to ten times, coming down with seven of those for 105 yards and a late touchdown from 39 yards out.
Mason was thrown to nine times, catching six balls for 53 yards. He continued to do most of his damage on short pass routes, and could not get anything going downfield.
Heap led the team in targets with 11, and brought in five balls for 65 yards. He was the target of one of Bollerís passes that was picked off by Denver in the red zone.
Wilcox was not a big factor, catching two balls for 14 yards.
Stover hit his field goal from 29 yards out and made good on both of his extra point attempts.
The Ravens held the Denver rushing attack in check, limiting them to 96 yards on 32 carries for a 3.0 yard per carry average. They were able to take Mike Anderson out of the game completely, as he finished with only 21 yards on eight carries. Baltimore gave up only four rushing first downs, and were in the game largely due to their commitment to stop the run.
Baltimoreís pass defense did a pretty good job defending against the Denver passing attack, holding Plummer to 236 yards and one score through the air. They did a nice job limiting the big plays from Lelie downfield.
|QB Jake Plummer, Pass: 19 - 33 - 236 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0|
Plummer didnít have a great game, but did what he had to for his team to win, throwing for 236 yards on 19 of 33 passing. His touchdown pass came in the third quarter, when he hit FB Kyle Johnson from seven yards out to put the Broncos up for good.
|RB Tatum Bell, Rush: 16 - 63 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
Bell led the way for the Denver three headed rushing attack with 63 yards on 16 carries. He also caught two balls for 16 yards, but could not find the room to bust any big plays like he has all year. Bell had 16 rushes as opposed to Andersonís eight for the game.
Anderson was not able to get anything going on the ground, and gave way to Bell for most of the game, finishing with only 21 yards rushing on eight carries.
|RB Ron Dayne, Rush: 4 - 7 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)|
Dayne had only four carries for seven yards, and caught one pass for seven yards, which he fumbled and lost to Baltimore.
Johnson caught three passes for 40 yards, but hauled in the only Denver score for the game on a seven yard scoring reception from Plummer in the third quarter.
Smith was Plummerís favorite target, getting eight balls thrown his way and coming down with five of those for 64 yards.
|WR Ashley Lelie, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0, Rec: 2 - 42 - 0 (3 targets)|
Lelie caught two balls for the game for 42 yards, but had one of the biggest plays on a rushing play he took eight yards for a Denver first down late in the fourth quarter on an end around that helped seal the victory for Denver.
Adams brought in three balls for 35 yards for the game, and was targeted six times.
Devoe was not a big factor, finishing with one catch for nine yards.
Alexander caught the only ball thrown his way for 15 yards.
Putzier finished with one catch for eight yards, and was targeted five times.
Elam hit both of his field goal attempts from 47 and 48 yards, but missed an extra point attempt.
The Broncos held the Ravens to 72 yards on 23 carries and 3.1 yards per rush, including a big goal line stand early in the fourth quarter, when LB Ian Gold stuffed RB Chester Taylor on fourth and one from the one for a loss, and helped Denver hold on for the win.
Denverís defense did an adequate job limiting Bollerís options for most of the game, as Baltimoreís only big play through the air came late in the fourth quarter when they scored on a 39 yard pass. Aside from that, they intercepted Boller twice and helped shut down the Baltimore offense three times inside their own ten yard line.