I think it is safe to say that this isn’t your father’s Baltimore Ravens.
The 2010 version not only has a stifling defense, but they have offense, as well. They have an actual passing game along with a running game that really hasn’t lost anything since Ray Rice took the starting job from Willis McGahee.
The Ravens would display their emergence as arguably the best team in the AFC as they scored early and kept the visiting Denver Broncos at bay. Rice ran for a pair of scores and the Baltimore defense frustrated Denver quarterback Kyle Orton, allowing the Ravens to annihilate the Broncos 31-17.
Baltimore drew first blood on its second series as they marched 73 yards to go up 7-0, with Joe Flacco going 4-for-4 for 51 yards before sneaking into the end zone from the Denver 1.
The Ravens again forced the Broncos to punt and would score yet another touchdown, courtesy of a 1-yard TD run by Rice.
Denver would commit a turnover when rookie Demaryius Thomas fumbled the ensuing kickoff when hit by Baltimore’s Jason Phillips, which allowed the Ravens to recover at the Broncos 20; Billy Cundiff would connect on a chip shot that put Baltimore ahead 17-0. As a result of the hit by Phillips, Thomas left the game with head and neck injuries.
Denver finally got on the board with 48 seconds left in the half as Orton hooked up with Brandon Lloyd on a 42-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone, narrowing the Ravens’ advantage to 17-7.
The third quarter was a non-scoring 15 minutes, but the Ravens took the lead for good in the fourth quarter as Rice scored again on a 1-yard plunge, putting them ahead 24-7 and would score a little over 9 minutes later on a 30-yard TD run by McGahee.
Joe Flacco had a mediocre day on the field as he went 14-of-25 for 196 yards while Orton went 23-of-38 for 314 yards and a pair of TDs.
Rice went nuts against the Broncos’ defensive line, rushing for 133 yards and two scores while McGahee added 67 rushing yards and a TD. Meanwhile, Laurence Maroney led the Bronsos rushers with an underwhelming 27 yard day.
Tight end Ed Dickson led the Ravens with a reception for 58 yards while Derrick Mason caught 3 for 47 yards. Lloyd led all Broncos receivers with 5 catches for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns while Jabar Gaffney caught 9 for 87 yards.
Baltimore (4-1) plays again next Sunday at New England in a key matchup while Denver (2-3) returns home to host the New York Jets – also next Sunday.