By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
7:51 AM EDT, September 6, 2013
The nightmare never halted for the Ravens' secondary, mercilessly torched by the Broncos' talented array of receivers.
During a 49-27 revenge win over the Ravens on Thursday night at Sports Authority Field, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning picked apart the Baltimore defense with seven touchdown passes to tie an NFL single-game record.
In his first game as the replacement for former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Ed Reed, free safety Michael Huff failed to contain tight end Julius Thomas as the former college basketball player caught a pair of touchdown passes.
"We didn't make the plays that we needed to make," said Huff, the former Oakland Raiders starter who was signed to a three-year, $6 million contract in March. "Me, personally, if we want to be the defense we want to be, I personally have to play better."
Cornerback Jimmy Smith was beaten by Andre Caldwell for a 28-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter as the Ravens allowed three touchdown passes in quick succession.
"Yes, anytime, you lose like that it's a complete embarrassment," Smith said. "There were definitely some coverage issues. We got to get more focused."
It was a rough game for cornerback Corey Graham against slot receiver extraordinaire Wes Welker, who piled up nine catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
"It was one of those games where everything they did went right, and everything we did went wrong," Graham said. "It’s a rough one, and for me personally, it’s probably one of the worst games I’ve ever played in my life. We are going to go watch the film and find a way to get better and correct it. For me, personally, everything went wrong for me."
Plus, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, an imposing, fast wideout at 6 feet 3, 230 pounds, finished with five catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
"We just had a long night, but it's going to make us better in the long run," said cornerback Lardarius Webb, whose surgically-repaired left knee held up fine after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last October against the Dallas Cowboys. "Yeah, it was very humbling."