Blocked punt loomed large in Ravens' loss

The Baltimore Sun

One of the most demoralizing plays in football is having a punt blocked.

The Ravens endured that breakdown during their 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos when safety David Bruton shot through the gap between inside linebacker Arthur Brown and strong safety James Ihedigbo and deflected the football off of punter Sam Koch's foot.

It looked like Brown was primarily responsible for blocking Bruton, a special-teams captain and former Pro Bowl special-teams ace alternate, as Ihedigbo fanned out to block another Broncos player.

It was a key play in the third quarter as the Broncos, already leading 21-17, quickly capitalized for a touchdown to go ahead 28-17.

“It’s easily correctable," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "The situation is that we understood what they were doing, and we tried to execute the assignment right. We had assignment issues sometimes in the game in different areas. We had technique, execution issues at other times. And then there were a few scheme issues, understanding the scheme. That was an execution of fundamentals issue.

"The guys involved fully understand it, but we need to get better at it. There are really fast guys coming off the edges. When you’re young in this league, you need to know how to do it, and we just have to get better at it. That was a big turning point in the game, as it always is. It happened for us in the preseason, and you saw what a turning point it was. Hats off to the guy who rushed off the edge there, he did a great job, but we need to block better.”


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