For Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker, it wasn't the triumphant return to Denver against his old team that he had envisioned.
Months after an attempted contract restructure for the star pass rusher exploded into a bizarre controversy involving a fax machine that allowed him to fall into the Ravens' laps via a $35 million maximum value contract, Dumervil recorded one sack of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during a 49-27 loss.
Dumervil, fellow bookend outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata all sacked Manning once, but they couldn't harass the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player frequently enough.
Manning icily delivered seven touchdown passes and passed for 462 yards, becoming the first player to throw for seven touchdowns since quarterback Joe Kapp did so for the Minnesota Vikings against the Baltimore Colts on Sept. 28, 1969. Manning tied the NFL single-game record for touchdown passes with Y.A. Tittle, George Blanda, Adrian Burk and Sid Luckman.
“He had a good game," Dumervil said of Manning. "Their offense was clicking. Seven touchdowns is pretty impressive. He made a lot of good plays, so we just have to make some changes going forward.”
Dumervil sacked Manning for a loss of seven yards. with an outside rush on offensive tackle Orlando Franklin, but that was on the drive capped by a 28-yard Andre Caldwell touchdown catch in the third quarter to take the lead for good.
“I was just trying to make a play for my team, and I had an opportunity and took it," Dumervil said. "It would have been better if we had won, so we just have to move forward to next week and get better.”
It sounded like Dumervil, a one-time Denver fan favorite, got booed by the home crowd at one point.
“I really wasn’t paying much attention to that," Dumervil said. "It felt good to come out as a Raven for the first time, though, so we just have to make sure we have a good week of preparation. It was a tough loss, but we just need to get better.”
What can the Ravens do to correct so many miscues?
“We have to watch the film," Dumervil said. "We did some good things, and there are things that we have to get better at. When you are going against a good offense, things like that can happen; we have to make sure we take care of all the things that we need to take care for next week against Cleveland.”