Ravens limp to a painful victory over Denver in Week 13

Ravens, Tyler Huntley. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Ravens, Tyler Huntley. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Baltimore Ravens crawled to a 10-9 win against the Denver Broncos in Week 13 in what was supposed to be the Ravens’ bounce-back game.

Instead, Baltimore suffered soul-crushing injury news and barely limped to victory against one of the worst-performing teams in the league.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson got sacked late in the first quarter and had to leave the game due to a knee injury. In the post-game presser, it was revealed that Jackson’s injury was not season-ending, though more tests would be needed to determine how serious the injury was.

Tyler Huntley stepped up to the plate and delivered a solid performance with 187 passing yards, one rushing touchdown, and one interception.

The game script in Week 13 felt very different from that in previous games given the obvious quarterback change, and the Ravens suffered arguably their worst four quarters of offensive football so far this season.

Baltimore’s offense in the first half only produced 122 yards for an average of 4.4 yards per play, trailing the Broncos 3-6. It seemed like the Ravens without Lamar Jackson were just…an equally mediocre version of the Broncos? Simply put, this matchup was not an ideal display of efficient offenses.

The Ravens couldn’t move the ball without Jackson under center as four of their possessions in the first half ended in punts.

Ravens beat the Broncos in Week 13, but it came at a heavy cost

Huntley was able to make things happen in the second half but….not all of his plays ended on a positive note. The formerly undrafted player threw a nasty interception straight into the hands of Broncos’ Justin Simmons, and Denver was able to convert that pick into a field goal.

Ravens’ receivers Mark Andrews, Demarcus Robinson, and Devin Duvernay flashed at times, yet the team’s red zone struggles continued all the way into the fourth quarter.

In perhaps the most bizarre moment of the game, the Ravens’ play-calling came under fire when Greg Roman reached deep into the vault for a terribly executed trick play.

The Ravens put the ball in James Proche’s hands to throw a ball to Kenyan Drake down the field. Drake was in quadruple coverage and Broncos’ Justin Simmons (yet again) easily picks Proche off.

Just an overall poorly drawn-up play.

Baltimore’s defense kept the team in the game up until the end of the fourth quarter when Huntley finally broke into the end zone to cap off a 91-yard drive to give the Ravens the lead, 10-9. The Broncos drove down the other way to set up Brandon McManus for a 63-yard potential game-winner, but McManus wasn’t going to complete that in Justin Tucker’s house.

This result was nice and all, yet the Ravens’ persistent issues seeped into Week 13: poor offensive play-calling (is Greg Roman trying to get fired?) and too many stalled drives (the Ravens haven’t scored a touchdown in the first three quarters in each of their last three games).

Looking back, the Ravens needed to win this game more than ever, but it came at an unexpected cost. Lamar Jackson, Patrick Queen, Kyle Hamilton, and Isaiah Likely all got banged up to some degree, and fans will be especially keen to know if Jackson can recover in time for Week 14 and beyond.

In the end, the Ravens took a very different approach to win in Week 13: they led for only about 30 seconds on Sunday and somehow came away with the dub.

Next. Breaking down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s options next offseason. dark

A win’s a win, but the consequences of this game will be felt throughout the remainder of the Ravens’ 2022 season.