During a crushing 34-17 defeat at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens' reactions were usually wrong as Manning cooked up his usual batch of timely audibles to keep the defense off guard.
"I felt like it was Christmas, and not for our side," Ravens free safety Ed Reed said. "We were in a giving mood, honestly. I was embarrassed because I didn't think we played football. It's like you're out there lackadaisical, like you are just better than everybody. You're not. There has to be a sense of urgency for every man."
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The Ravens allowed the Broncos to pile up 350 yards and 21 first downs, surrendering 163 rushing yards as Denver built a commanding time of possession edge of 38:34 to 21:26.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees deployed his nickel package early, so Manning checked to running plays for Moreno as he rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Moreno actually hurdled Reed once, clearing the helmet of the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year for a short gain.
"I was not expecting him to jump, honestly," Reed said. "I couldn't react because I was just dealing with a lot of sickness early. I just wasn't all the way into it, honestly. I was dealing with flu symptoms.
"I just kind of watched him jump over me. I thought he was ready to put his head down. I saw him gathering himself, so I was like, 'There's no way he's going to jump.'"
When the Ravens stacked the line of scrimmage to contain the run, Manning peppered the secondary with deep throws. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 204 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 94.9 quarterback rating.
"When we were in nickel, they wanted to run the ball," cornerback Corey Graham said. "We had to adjust and stay in base defenses to help out in the running game. It was a chess match. He's Peyton Manning. Of course, he's a smart quarterback. He did a good job.
When asked to characterize his frustration level, Graham replied: "It's at a max. I don't know about everybody else, but I know I'm frustrated."
One of the worst breakdowns for the Ravens unfolded in the third quarter on a 51-yard Manning touchdown pass to wide receiver Eric Decker where he torched cornerback Cary Williams and Reed on a double-move
"He got me to stop my feet a little bit," Williams said of Decker. "They game-planned us very well. He's Peyton Manning, he's seen a lot. He's very savvy. He takes his job very seriously."
Smith, Pierce concussed
Starting wide receiver Torrey Smith and rookie backup running back Bernard Pierce were forced out of the game with concussions.
Both will have to pass baseline neurological exams to be allowed to play next Sunday against the New York Giants.
Afterward, Smith seemed fine and joked that he couldn't remember the game.
Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs left the game several times in obvious discomfort due to a torn right biceps but kept returning.