Ravens vs Broncos grades, week 1

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Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Carl Davis (94) grabs onto Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Defense: A

It was a thoroughly dominant effort from the mostly young Ravens’ defensive front.  Jimmy Smith put on a show in a triumphant return from last year’s foot injury.  C.J. Mosley looked like he might be even better in his sophomore season than he was in his excellent rookie campaign.

Yep, not much went wrong for the vaunted Ravens’ D in the season opener.  Except, of course, that they couldn’t score enough points to compensate for the inept offense.

Smith led the way with 8 tackles, a pass defensed, and the team’s only touchdown on a Peyton Manning pick six.  C.J. Mosley filled the stat sheet with 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, a pass defensed, and 2 QB hits.

The secondary looked fantastic against an excellent group of Broncos pass catchers.  They limited Peyton Manning to 24 of 40 passing for 175 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, and a 59.9 rating.

Perhaps most telling was the stat line of all-world wide receiver Deymarius Thomas – 7 catches on 11 targets, 60 yards.  It could be the worst stat line of his entire season.

Granted, the Broncos offensive line is a problem area, but this was a very encouraging debut performance for the Ravens D after a rocky preseason.  If this is a sign of things to come, this is a unit no team is going to want to face moving forward.

Next: Special teams

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