How Denver matches up against Ravens and predictions


Broncos (3-8) at Ravens (7-4)

When: 11 a.m. MT, Sunday

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.

Radio/TV: 850 AM, 94.1 FM/CBS

Broncos-Ravens series: Broncos are 6-7 in 13 regular-season games dating back to 1996; the Broncos lost 23-7 in the last meeting, on Oct. 3, 2021, in Denver, and haven’t won in Baltimore since 2012.

Key matchup

Lamar Jackson vs Broncos defense

Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson has only had one career start against Denver, last year, when the QB passed for 316 yards and a touchdown and also had 28 yards rushing in the Ravens’ win.

Containing Jackson will be a key for the Broncos’ defense on Sunday. Jackson has been dealing with a quad injury, but was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday.

Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero noted the “Mike Vick comparisons” to Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowler and the 2019 NFL MVP.

“You’ve definitely got to have a plan with how you attack him in the run game and pass game, because I don’t know there’s ever been a player like this in the league,” Evero said. “He’s big, strong, hard to tackle and is one of the fastest guys on the field.

“It’s almost like when you play option football in college and are preparing to face that. You can’t simulate that speed… We don’t have any (scout team) receivers that fast (to simulate him).”

If Jackson can’t play and is forced to miss his first game of the season, Evero said Denver will be ready for Baltimore backup Brett Hundley.

“We played against him with the Rams last year,” Evero said. “He’s a very good quarterback. Nobody’s the athlete that Lamar is, so we’re not going to feel that same pressure in the run game and when we scramble. But Hundley can make all the throws.”

Who has the edge?


The biggest storyline involving Russell Wilson this week was who did (and didn’t) show up to his birthday party. Wilson continues to perform like one of the NFL’s worst QBs. The Ravens’ dual-threat Lamar Jackson has a quad injury but is probable to play. Edge: Ravens

Running back

While Jackson is the Ravens’ leading rusher, they can also lean on Gus Edwards and Kenyon Drake. The Broncos finally had a rush over 20 yards last week, and will again lean on Latavius Murray to carry the load. Edge: Even

Receiver/tight end

Jerry Jeudy is out with an ankle injury; KJ Hamler’s season may be over with a hamstring injury. Courtland Sutton is questionable and needs to catch fire to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second time. Ravens TE Mark Andrews is elite, and WR Devin Duvernay is dangerous. Edge: Ravens

Offensive line

The Broncos, on their seventh different O-line combination this year, are finally finding some continuity up front. Left tackle Calvin Anderson must play better. Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley, the linchpin of their line, is dealing with an ankle injury. Edge: Ravens

Defensive line

Dre’Mont Jones, D.J Jones, Mike Purcell and DeShawn Williams have been one of the Broncos’ best units, though they are susceptible against the run. The Ravens feature former Denver South star and 15-year vet Calais Campbell, who has 5.5 sacks. Edge: Even


Alex Singleton leads Denver with 84 tackles, while Josey Jewell (68 tackles) has also been productive at inside linebacker. The Broncos’ edge rush has two sacks over the past three games. Baltimore’s Justin Houston has been dominant with nine sacks. Edge: Ravens


K’Waun Williams might return from a knee injury this week. Pat Surtain II is having a great season, but has had two rough weeks in a row. Baltimore’s Marcus Peters is their top cover cornerback, while fellow CB Marlon Humphrey is dealing with an ankle injury. Edge: Even

Special teams

Brandon McManus is 20-of-26 on field goals this year but has struggled from distance and with blocked kicks. The Ravens’ Justin Tucker is the NFL’s best kicker but missed a game-winner from 67 yards last week. Denver’s return game remains mediocre. Edge: Ravens

Tale of the tape

Category Broncos Ravens
Total offense 319.1 (26th) 356.1 (11th)
Rush offense 104.3 (24th) 162.7 (2nd)
Pass offense 214.8 (20th) 193.4 (26th)
Points per game 14.3 (32nd) 25.0 (T-8th)
Total defense 306.4 (3rd) 335.8 (15th)
Run defense 121.6 (19th) 82.0 (2nd)
Pass defense 184.7 (3rd) 253.8 (27th)
Points allowed 17.6 (3rd) 20.6 (12th)

* Through Week 12

By the numbers

30.8%: The Broncos’ red zone percentage on defense, which ranks first in the league.

37.5%: The Broncos’ red zone percentage on offense, which ranks last in the league.

-1: Denver’s turnover margin, which ranks tied for 22nd in the league.

+8: Baltimore’s turnover margin, which ranks second in the league.

2: The number of teams that haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, the Broncos and the Jets. While Denver’s season circles the drain again, New York is in the hunt for both a divisional crown and wild card spot.


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