After getting bullied by the Ravens, the Broncos have to respond in Week 5
“Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size?” While this wasn’t said directly by the Ravens to the Broncos, it was implied. After three weeks of beating up on three of the NFL’s worst teams, the Broncos’ ability to bully their opponent came to a screeching halt.
The Ravens are not the Giants, Jaguars or Jets. The Ravens are a perennial Super Bowl contender with a winning pedigree. The Ravens play tough football and are never an easy go for anybody.
The Ravens were relentless in their ability to control the Broncos. The Broncos were absolutely dominated.
The Broncos now sit at 3-1. On paper, that looks good, however the loss to the Ravens sent optimism surrounding the Broncos crashing down to earth.
There is plenty to criticize the Broncos after their lackluster performance. Overall, the most shocking part of the game was how little the Ravens respected the Broncos At no point during the game did the Ravens seem bothered or afraid of the Broncos.
This was most evident on the final play. Yes, that play.
On the last play of the game, instead of taking a knee, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and his staff ordered a designed run to Lamar Jackson to continue the Ravens streak of consecutive games with 100 rushing yards.
This one play is indicative of the game. The Ravens did this to the Broncos because they aren’t scared of the Broncos. The Ravens aren’t worried about playing the Broncos a second time in the playoffs. In the event the two teams do meet in the postseason, the Ravens don’t feel the Broncos will be any sort of challenge.
The Ravens don’t respect the Broncos. Retaliation for that play is not scaring anybody in Baltimore.
The sportsmanship angle of the controversial play is not what should motivate the Broncos. What should motivate the Broncos is that the Ravens considered them insignificant. The Ravens imposed their will on the Broncos for four quarters and on the last play told the Broncos, “Do something about it.”
I’m not sure John Harbaugh runs that play against every team in the NFL. Harbaugh did it against the Broncos because he could The Broncos are not a concern of his. Playing the Broncos a second time and having to deal with the consequences of his decision is not a worry for John Harbaugh.
After the Ravens tied the game 7-7 in the first half, the Broncos – players and coaches – collapsed. The Ravens counter-punched the Broncos and at that point the game was over.
Panic set in, the Broncos coaches became desperate and players didn’t have direction.
Vic Fangio’s inability to properly assess the game and Pat Shurmur’s muscle memory of having his QB throw deep every play were both on display. The Broncos coaching staff was exposed.
The players looked completely unprepared. When the Broncos took the lead 7-0 in the second quarter, they acted as if they expected the Ravens to just lay down the rest of the game. The Broncos might have been a little too impressed with themselves and feeling over confident. Hopefully, the beat down woke them up.
The Ravens are thinking about Super Bowls. The Ravens have their sights on the top teams, everybody else is just in the way. The Broncos were never a threat to the Ravens Super Bowl aspirations, they were a nuisance at best.
The Broncos must show resolve. They were humiliated last week. They should be angry. The entire locker room should be eager to get on the field this Sunday and dominate the Steelers.
It’s way too early to think the Broncos are weak. We don’t know if they are. Baltimore was one game. It was a bad game, but they can respond. That response needs to happen in Pittsburgh.
The Ravens didn’t respect the Broncos. The loss was alarming and troubling. It wasn’t the loss that hurt the Broncos as much as the way they responded to adversity. This weekend, the Broncos have the chance to show they are mentally tougher than we all think. They have the talent to do so.
The Broncos should be out to prove that last week was an outlier. The Broncos are a better team than the Steelers, and if the Broncos are ready for the playoff run, they should dominate.
Vic Fangio and company must take back the respect they lost. At this point, nobody is going to give it to them.
The Ravens toyed with the Broncos and if they don’t find a way to bounce back, The Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys and Browns will do the same.