The Denver Broncos suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday, as they fell to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, 23-7. Teddy Bridgewater suffered a concussion at the end of the first half, and Drew Lock was unable to come in and spark the offense to a victory. The Ravens played a solid game on both sides of the ball, and took care of business on the road to win their third straight game.
Jackson was questionable with a back injury coming into this matchup, but he didn't seem limited at all. He completed 22 of 37 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown. It was actually his second-ever regular-season game where he threw for over 300 yards. Marquise Brown made up for his disappointing performance last week, as he caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Let's take a deeper dive into what went down in this matchup on Sunday.
Why the Ravens won
Baltimore played a sound game on both sides of the ball, but the defense deserves credit for this win. Yes, things were a little easier on them with having to defend a backup quarterback in the second half, but the Ravens still held the Broncos to just 254 yards of total offense and held strong to the very end -- even picking off Lock in the end zone with 10 seconds left in the game. The defense recorded five total sacks and pressured Denver's signal-callers all game long. They also held the Broncos to just 3 of 14 on third downs. Credit to the rookie Odafe Oweh for another impressive performance, as he recorded one sack and two quarterback hits. You're going to win all of your games if you allow just seven points.
Why the Broncos lost
I refuse to say that the Broncos lost due to the loss of Bridgewater, because it's not like he was playing incredibly well. He completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and one touchdown in the first half, and was outscored by 10 points. Lock didn't do anything to spark this offense in the second half either, as he missed on his opportunity to prove to his team that he's a legitimate starting quarterback as well.
What really stood out to me from this game were the struggles of Denver's secondary. This was the first decent opponent the Broncos faced all season, and that was evident at times. The defensive backs had several miscues which led to big plays, such as Brown's 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Again, this was just Jackson's second-ever regular-season game in which he threw for over 300 yards! Overall, the grade the Broncos earned was still an "incomplete" since we didn't get a chance to see if Bridgewater could rally the troops in the final two quarters, but it wasn't an impressive performance all around.
The turning point was halftime, when Bridgewater was examined for his concussion. Lock didn't even have the support of his home crowd; when he entered the game, there was a mixture of cheers and boos. He was facing an uphill battle all the way, and wasn't able to come through.
Play of the game
Hollywood Brown had what was probably the worst game of his career last week against the Detroit Lions. He dropped several would-be touchdowns, which contributed to the game being so close despite the Ravens facing an inferior opponent. Brown made up for that in a big way on Sunday, and recorded this incredible, diving touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Javonte Williams goes beast mode
Javonte Williams has shown through the early parts of the season that he can be a starting running back in this league. In the first quarter, the rookie carried virtually the entire Ravens defense on his back for a gain of 31 yards. It really looked like he was about to break it for six.
That big play got Denver into the red zone, and set up what would be the Broncos' only score of the game.
The Ravens return to Baltimore to host the Indianapolis Colts on "Monday Night Football." Indy defeated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, 27-17. The Broncos travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday to take on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, who fell 27-17 to the Green Bay Packers.