In the final game of the Ravens’ 23-7 win over the Broncos on Sunday, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh chose to run the ball instead of kneeling to finish the clock.
With a five-yard run from Lamar Jackson to cap the action at Empower Field, the Ravens hit 102 yards on the ground and set the NFL record for most consecutive games at 43 for running at least 100 yards. tied up.
Harbaugh made no apologies for the play, which was symbolic of how the Ravens physically and tactically pushed the Broncos out to Denver in what was considered a close game.
“(Streak) is one of those things that’s worthwhile,” Harbaugh said. “As the head coach, you have to be aware of your team and your players and your coaches and what the record means to them… It’s a very tough record and it’s a long-term record.”
After rushing for 73 yards in the first quarter, the Broncos had just 33 yards the rest of the way and finished with a total of 254 yards. Baltimore had an offense of 406 yards and five sacks to defend. The Ravens put pressure on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for most of the first half, before leaving the game on a hit by linebacker Odafe Owen in the second quarter.
While the Broncos viewed performances against quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens as a litmus test following a soft September schedule, the Ravens saw their trip to Denver as a way to cement their identity after significant early-season injuries and three close games. as seen. to start the season.
“These are the kinds of wins you have to pile on to do anything (in this league),” Harbaugh said.
Baltimore defensive lineman Calais Campbell had five tackles, a rewarding homecoming for the Denver South graduates.
“There are very few moments when you get emotional (as a player),” Campbell said. “To be able to play in this stadium, I kept thinking when I was a kid and dreaming of playing in this stadium … and going out there and winning it was great.”
Campbell said Baltimore’s defense took advantage of the Broncos’ injuries. Second-year pro Neten Muti and rookie Quinn Meinerz filled in left guard and right guard respectively for Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner, as both starts were inactive.
Campbell said, “You definitely want to try to take advantage of the youngsters, and we had a good game plan because we knew there was a chance earlier in the week (Glasgow and Risner won’t play).
Harbaugh said the Ravens’ pass-rush was fueled by solid coverage from a secondary who entered the game in the 30th place in the NFL in average passing yards. Neither Bridgewater or backup Drew were able to find an extended rhythm in the lock pocket.
“The pass-rush was really good, from the sides and in, and we were able to get the quarterback down, and that’s a big deal,” Harbaugh said. “The pass-rush was relentless, and it probably started with (good) coverage.”
Jackson, on the other hand, said that the Broncos’ defensive game plan was to take away the Ravens’ stout run game by stacking the box. Jackson responded by throwing for 316 yards on a 22-in-37 passing, with a 49-yard touchdown strike to the Marquis Brown in the second quarter, which turned the momentum in Baltimore’s favor.
“They were running a lot of cover zeroes,” Jackson said. “I think his game plan worked, because I didn’t really drive it that much (with a total of 28 yards). But we were able to pass a lot.”